Not fearing, but revering God

How I prayed when a disastrous conflict seemed imminent.

It was 1962, and much of the United States was gripped by fear, knowing that the Soviet Union was in the process of installing nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba, just over 100 miles from US shores. Although the US government was negotiating with the Soviets, the threat felt very real, and people across America were building bomb shelters, fortifying basements, and stocking up on food. The news media conveyed a conviction that a disastrous conflict was imminent, and many were afraid for the future.

As a new student of Christian Science, I was learning that God is in charge and is more powerful than both weapons and fear. However, I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we were warned that there were nuclear materials and perhaps bombs in the nearby mountains and that our city was sure to be a prime target, should there be a conflict.

One morning I was in our tiny bathroom with our two-year-old daughter when all at once we heard the shriek of what sounded like a siren; the noise filled the room. Panicking because I thought that this was a warning siren and we needed to take cover, I grabbed my daughter, put her on the floor, covered her with my body, and started to pray. After what seemed like an eternity, the noise stopped. When I opened my eyes and could think clearly again, I realized that the sound had come from the telephone, which I had brought into the bathroom. It must have been left off the hook for a while, and the shrill noise signaling this echoed in the tiny room.

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