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As I climbed into my car to drive to work one morning and reached to turn on the radio, the word No! came to my thought, so I stopped. I was startled, but I’ve learned as a student of Christian Science that it’s important to quietly listen for guidance from God and to be obedient when that guidance comes.
I didn’t know why I wasn’t supposed to turn on the radio or pull away from the curb at that moment, but I knew that if God was really guiding me, it would become clear at some point. When ideas come that protect or comfort, I think of them as angel thoughts. I’m not talking about angels in the way they are traditionally thought of and portrayed, as winged human figures, but as messages from God.
A favorite hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal says of God:
He knows the angels that you need,
And sends them to your side,
To comfort, guard and guide.
(Violet Hay, No. 9, © CSBD)
This is based on a definition of angels that Mary Baker Eddy gives in the Glossary of her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (p. 581).
I took a few minutes to pray quietly, affirming that God is all-powerful and all-knowing, that He governs all, and that everyone is able to hear and see this because God communicates with each of us in a way that we can understand. When I felt peaceful about this, I started the car and headed down the street.
At a stoplight, when the light changed to green, I began to turn left. But as I crossed the intersection, the word Stop! came very clearly to thought. Again, I didn’t know why I should stop, but I obeyed. My car was now positioned diagonally across the intersection, and my light was still green. It was about half an hour before the local elementary school was scheduled to start, so a crossing guard and several children were crossing the street to my right.
At that moment, I became aware of a car approaching on my left. It was moving fast and did not appear to be stopping, even though it had a red light. There was no time for me to get out of the way. The driver jammed on his brakes, and his car began to skid and turn. When it finally stopped, his car was just inches from mine, perfectly parallel. There was no collision.
The young driver was visibly shaken. I motioned to him, and we both slowly moved our cars to the side of the road. He climbed out of his car saying, “I didn’t see the red light!” I told him that everyone seemed to be OK. I was thankful that there had been no accident and that everyone had been protected. The children and the crossing guard were safe, and so were we. He returned to his car, and we each continued on our way.
I’m grateful for this reminder that God is guiding us moment by moment and that listening for and humbly obeying that guidance is a protection for us and others.
Elisabeth Anetta Schwartz
Andover, Massachusetts, US
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