No place for fear
Fear seems so prevalent these days. There appear to be many avenues for it to weasel its way into our thinking. And sometimes a specific fear has been with us for so long that it seems to be a part of our identity. It would argue that we must just live with it, adjust our lives to accommodate it. But this is completely contrary to God’s law of love, which casts out fear.
The summer before I graduated from college I was taking two courses and living in a house with three other people. It was the end of the semester and the others had all finished their courses, so I was alone in the house. Sometime during the night I awoke to a man standing over my bed with his hand on my shoulder. I sat up in bed, and all I could keep repeating was, “Why are you doing this?” He touched me no further, left the house, and I called the police.
Looking for more content like this?
Get uplifting articles and podcasts in the Sentinel's weekly email.
Although I was grateful for the protection and was able to successfully complete the last exam I had the next day, the fear remained with me whenever I was alone at night. At these times, I would wake up and feel that someone was in the house. It was several years before I started to give concerted prayer to the problem.
When I did give this problem my prayerful attention, my understanding of God’s allness began to grow. Through many other healings, I was becoming more consistent in affirming that evil is nothing, having no power or presence. I was more confident in God’s infinite goodness. In each situation the Christ was speaking to me in ways I could understand, which resulted in healing. A Bible verse, a quote from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, or a hymn would come to thought—or just the courage to face any evil suggestion as a lie. I found that each Christlike thought was tailor-made for the situation at hand. Sometimes I would need to quiet my thought before receiving this inspiration. Other times the insight would be there even before I needed it.
As I continued to pray, I discovered a lecture given by Carol Dee Lewis, titled “Healing—because there is no fear in the allness of Love” (“Shared Reflections,” The Christian Science Journal, April 2014). She speaks of Jesus’ time in the wilderness when he was being tempted by the devil and stood firm in his trust in God, and how we can use this example in facing down fear. I took this to heart.
This Bible verse was helpful in addressing the specific fear of being left alone: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (I John 4:18).
Then the day came when our son started college. My husband and I dropped him off at his dorm. Early the next morning, I drove my husband to the airport for a two-day conference.
As I drove home, the fear of being alone in the house was almost more than I could take. I had this picture of someone standing in the garage when I got home. But the prayer I had been doing had prepared me, and I could firmly and confidently refute this picture as nothing. The mental image evaporated, but then it seemed as if the evil were in the car with me. I refuted the evil again and noted how ridiculous this picture was. It was as if the evil suggestion had overplayed its hand. Because of what I had learned about God’s constant care for His creation, my prayer was so much more real to me than the suggestion. I knew there was nothing present with me but God, infinite Love. I felt a strength of conviction that went beyond human reasoning. It was a moment of grace.
As Mrs. Eddy states in Science and Health, “Error, urged to its final limits, is self-destroyed” (p. 476). The fear left, never to return. For several days afterward, I felt so loved by divine Love and so uplifted. It was as if I could fly. I had a lovely, peaceful time while my husband was away. It’s wonderful finally to be free of this fear! I hadn’t realized how present it seemed to be until it was gone. And the blessing continues. Even if I’m tempted to be fearful in other situations, the suggestion is less impressive. The allness of Love leaves no place for fear to linger.
I have gained a better understanding of God. As God’s loved child, I can’t be separated from Love; therefore, I am never alone. Divine Love is constantly present, removing fear and providing a spiritual sense of fulfillment and peace. And this is true for all of us.
Thank you, Father-Mother Love!