The universal safety in divine Science

While kayaking in a tidal estuary some years ago, I heard the screeching distress of a bird overhead. It was a fledgling osprey—an American fish hawk—attempting to navigate for the first time the strong, steady winds coming off the ocean. Its ungainly flapping and wheeling about were accompanied by an almost constant squawking all too understandable as: I can’t do this! I’m scared! I’m going to fall!

Just above was the quiet, calm circling of the parent osprey, never letting the fledgling outside of its constant circumference. Little by little, the young bird gained confidence that it was perfectly designed to ride the contrary air currents and move through them to the desired destination. And within about five minutes, it landed on the warm dunes below its nest, safe and sound. The adult glided down beside it moments later, a tangible confirmation of the vigilant and continuous care that had been there throughout the whole journey.

I’ve often thought of that aerial duet that day—of what appeared to be and what was actually going on. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by what we’re facing and unsure of what’s protecting us. Our own headwinds may range from health problems to financial insecurity to community unrest. But a line from a John Greenleaf Whittier poem adapted to a hymn gives us a reassuring sense of the spiritual power that “circumferences” each of us: 

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October 19, 2015

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