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Safe and secure in the arms of Love

From the July 11, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

The organ’s glory filled the auditorium, uplifting and rejoicing the heart after a wonderful Christian Science Sunday church service. As I sat contemplating the atmosphere of joy and inspiration, another great lesson unfolded before me.

A Sunday School pupil, expressing the very joy I was feeling, ran enthusiastically down the aisle with arms wide open, ready to be embraced by her father, who was waiting for her. He gathered his daughter into his arms, and they sat in the pew with the child snuggling against him.

The memory of that embrace of love has stayed with me and helped me many times when I’ve felt in need. It reminded me of the Father-love of God. I know our dear Father-Mother God is always present. The strong arm or power of divine Love is everywhere, and as the idea of God, I dwell in Love, safe and secure, as do all His children.

The 91st Psalm gives a sweet sense of this security: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (verse 4). I am reminded of the swans in spring, gliding down the river with their wings arched; and tucked in under those wings are the baby swans—safe, warm, cozy, and loved.

Christian Science teaches that as the child of God, man is always cherished and protected. Man’s safety is assured because, in reality, there is nothing outside of God’s infinite perfection to harm or threaten him. And this understanding heals. 

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, puts it this way: “The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea,—perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 259).

As we affirm the facts of God, the law of perfection and harmony governing man, we glimpse our oneness with divine Truth, which is our shield from beliefs in anything unlike God, good.
The false suppositions that man is a separate entity from his creator, and can suffer, cannot have an effect when they are deflected and destroyed by the shield of Truth.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27

The divine manifestation, Christ, is always present in our consciousness, destroying false material beliefs by showing us that, in reality, man is a spiritual idea of God, safe and sound. Covered by the wings of divine Love, we are protected “in the secret place of the most High” (Psalms 91:1).

Mrs. Eddy tells us of this divine Principle, Love, which is always present, even when the storms of mortal sense might seem to engulf man. “Thus founded upon the rock of Christ,” she writes, “when storm and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you, safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and Love, are God’s nestlings; and He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed. Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 152).

The rock of Christ, unyielding, unchanging, is where we stand. We are secure on this sure foundation, in the secret place, under the feathers of the Most High.

Mrs. Eddy discusses further the importance of these ideas. “These two words in Scripture suggest the sweetest similes to be found in any language—rock and feathers: ‘Upon this rock I will build my church;’ ‘He shall cover thee with His feathers.’ How blessed it is to think of you as ‘beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,’ safe in His strength, building on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection. Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 263).

Life can never be lost, for it is not in a material man to lose. Man is the spiritual manifestation of divine Life, expressing all the qualities of Life, such as peace, tranquility, energy, joy, perfection, harmony, serenity, and bliss. This is true substance, which is God—present and expressed always. 

God’s presence and power, illustrated by the picture of the child embraced so lovingly in her father’s arms, were a great inspiration to me when I was driving home after a church service. A tire blowout sent the car careening into a concrete lamppost. The car spun and the airbags burst, emitting a noxious gas.

As the child of God, man is always cherished and protected.

As I sat in the wrecked car, I was struggling to breathe, and then came this wonderful statement to thought: I am “a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). I felt the presence of my Father-Mother God, and my breathing became less labored. I remembered that Mrs. Eddy says of Christian Science that it is “a deep-drawn breath fresh from God, by whom and in whom man lives, moves, and has deathless being” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 195). 

I found myself taking a deep breath and feeling at peace in the whole situation. Outside the car, however, there was a storm going on. A crowd had gathered, and they were anticipating the worst. There was a huge shout as the lamppost tottered and began to fall. I felt so cocooned in Love that I knew it could not touch me. It fell two inches behind my car.

Then came a very strong thought: “Step out of it.” I saw that this was an instruction not to leave the car, but to mentally step out of the whole situation—to be separate from the suggestion of an accident and from the expectations of the onlookers.

Someone had called an ambulance and the police. Before long there were a lot of emergency medical technicians wanting to help me. They were very loving and assisted me out of the car.
I walked to the ambulance and was told the police were insisting that I be taken to a hospital to be checked. I agreed to go, but I stated from the start that I would not accept treatment. I was duly taken to a hospital, where the doctors carried out their tests. I felt outside of it all, embraced in the presence of divine Love.

I was told that I would need painkillers. Pain had never entered my thought until that point. My reply was, “No, I feel no pain.” 

“But you must be in pain; you must have painkillers,” was the response. I again gently refused.

The law of perfect harmony is governing the universe, including man.

The doctors suspected that several bones were broken, and they said that if one certain bone was broken, they would be keeping me in the hospital. But I again said I would not accept treatment. With that I was sent to the X-ray department. 

I thought about Mrs. Eddy’s answer to the question “What is man?” on page 475 of Science and Health: “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements,” she writes. “He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; …” What, then, would be seen on an X-ray but perfection? 

After a while the doctor returned, shaking his head and saying he couldn’t find any broken bones. With that I stated, “So I can go home now.”

“Yes,” came the doctor’s reluctant reply. “But you will need painkillers.” It seemed best not to argue, so I accepted the pills, but they went straight into the cupboard, where they stayed until they could be disposed of in a safe way.

The bruising caused by the car’s safety belt appeared to be extensive, and  it restricted movement and breathing for a few days. But I remained conscious of being in the gentle arms of Love, completely separate from suggestions of injury, and I never felt pain. Within about a week the healing was complete.

My memory of that incident wasn’t of a terrible accident but of the child eagerly running to the Father, falling into the embrace of the strong arms of Love and resting in that safe presence. I found myself singing a hymn with words by Samuel Longfellow, the last stanza of which reads:

Embosomed deep in Thy dear love,
   Held in Thy law, I stand:
Thy hand in all things I behold,
   And all things in Thy hand.
Thou leadest me by unsought ways,
Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 134)

I certainly felt God’s power, love, and presence made manifest that day. The law of perfect harmony is governing the universe, including man. Peace pervades the kingdom of God, and it is felt through the spiritual senses of Soul. As First Corinthians says, “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (4:20).

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