Prayer and protection from wildfire
Whenever I am afraid, looking at the situation from a spiritual perspective brings peace and healing.
One morning I received a text from my brother telling me that there was a wildfire burning out of control near our community. It was a hot day with fifty-mile-an-hour winds, and the fire had consumed many acres of grassland by the time I got this news.
My first reaction was overwhelming fear. One of the houses in the fire’s path was the home of my son and his wife, who were expecting a baby. I knew I needed to pray immediately, but the fire seemed so frightening that it was difficult to think of anything else. What helped me was asking myself, “How does God see things right now?”
From my study of Christian Science, I had learned that whenever I am afraid, looking at the situation from a spiritual perspective brings peace and healing. I started by affirming that God, the creator of all, is totally good and creates nothing unlike Himself. God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity,” as the Bible tells us (Habakkuk 1:13).
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that God’s infinitude precludes evil. “Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness,” she writes. “God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good. Therefore evil, being contrary to good, is unreal, and cannot be the product of God. . . . You conquer error by denying its verity” (p. 339).
If I reasoned that right where the out-of-control fire seemed to be, God’s law was already there.
But, you might ask, what about all the dangers we see around us? If God didn’t make them, why do they seem so real and cause such suffering?
Christian Science shows that evil appears real only to a false, material mentality that Science terms “mortal mind.” This pretense of a mind opposite to God, divine Mind, presents lies through the physical senses. But we don’t need to accept the impressions of the material senses as true. Wherever evil seems to be, it is without real substance, for God, good, is the only substance and is everywhere, filling all space. It takes only a fuller understanding of God’s ever-presence to destroy the false sense—the sense that evil is real and present—and the suffering that goes with it.
I reasoned that right where the out-of-control fire seemed to be, God’s law was already there,
governing everything in perfect harmony. Despite what the physical senses were reporting, I knew that God was at that very moment tenderly embracing and caring for His creation, including my son, his family, and the whole community.
As a calm trust settled over my thought, my son was also reaching out to God. He told us later that the barking of his dog had alerted him to look out the window, and he saw a wall of flames burning the field of grass directly in front of his house. He rushed out and moved his truck from its path and began using the garden hose to wet down his yard and trees. The smoke was so thick and black that he couldn’t see and could hardly breathe. All he could do was aim the hose at the crackling sounds of the flames and call out many times, “God, help us!”
Then he, too, suddenly experienced an inner calm, and he knew just what to do. He ran to his truck, where he found the face mask he uses when he spray-paints houses. The mask enabled him to both breathe and see. With clarity of thought, he felt directed to lean his ladder against the house, climb up, and water down the roof. Then he continued to hose the flames burning his and his neighbors’ yards.
Then he suddenly experienced an inner calm, and he knew just what to do.
At one point fear tempted him to give up, but divine Love encouraged him to keep on, until firefighting helicopters and firetrucks came and extinguished the flames.
I was deeply grateful for the family’s safety and the preservation of their home and the neighbors’. To me this was proof that no matter where we are and what is happening, God is already there, caring for us and keeping us safe.