Divine Love casts out fear and keeps us safe
I knew I could trust divine Love to protect my daughter wherever she was—and everyone else, too.
In her inaugural address in the spring of 2021, Kim Janey, then acting mayor of Boston, recounted the harshness she endured in middle school during the early years of busing to institute racial equality in the Boston public schools. As I listened, I thought about the fact that it is Love, God, that casts out fear and heals harshness.
Christ Jesus understood God to be Love. And he asserted his right to be identified as the loved Son of God. By claiming his unity with Love, he was able to prove his dominion over ills of the flesh as well as the cruel words and acts of his detractors. Even when some of them picked up stones to throw at him, Jesus walked right through the crowd unharmed. He understood that material circumstances cannot change the spiritual reality—that God, infinite Spirit, created man (each one of us) in His image and likeness, eternally “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and that we are each governed by the law of Love, changeless Spirit, alone.
Jesus knew there was no power, presence, or law apart from God, so in spite of severe resistance, he continued his God-given mission.
Jesus knew there was no power, presence, or law apart from God. So, in spite of severe resistance, he continued his God-given mission of healing, as well as teaching about God and man’s unity with Him. And he left this example for his followers in all times to emulate.
Christian Science explains that anyone who understands that God is all-powerful Love can prove this spiritual fact for himself or herself. This Science also teaches that man is God’s cherished idea or expression. Hatred and antagonism can’t change this spiritual fact.
Love delivers us from fear’s hold, and then fear cannot stop us from doing the right thing. By knowing the supremacy of Love, we can prove God’s omnipresence and omnipotence. So, we can walk right through the self-deceived fear that claims failure and discord to be inevitable. And through prayer we can come to realize that everyone’s real identity is spiritual, whole, loved, and indestructible. This realization enables us to prove that Love casts out fear and danger and keeps us safe.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, “One must fulfil one’s mission without timidity or dissimulation, for to be well done, the work must be done unselfishly” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 483).
This idea was especially meaningful to me during a stressful time in my life. “Without timidity” meant that I could express courage with confidence. And “without . . . dissimulation” meant that I could demonstrate boldly my trust in God. It was a time when my family had to do just that.
We were new residents in the Boston area. The day I enrolled my daughter in middle school, I learned that she was the only Black student in her grade. Well, I was more than a little dismayed. But I was learning that “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health, p. 13) and that God, Love, provides His children with the ability and wisdom to master any given situation. I knew I could trust divine Love to protect my daughter wherever she was—and everyone else, too.
That first day, when leaving her at school, I assured my child that God’s love, presence, and power would be with her. And I prayed with all my heart for a deeper understanding of that love, presence, and power. I prayed not to be tricked into believing that fear and evil were powerful, or even present. Despite my prayers, my daughter reported that she had been threatened by a gang of girls at the school, telling her not to return the next day or she would be killed.
Then this verse from Isaiah came forcefully to thought: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (41:10). We held each other close and repeated this verse until we gained our peace. Prayer gave us confidence that God’s great love would protect her, and the other girls, too.
I assured my child that God’s love, presence, and power would be with her, and I prayed for a deeper understanding of that love, presence, and power.
The Bible reveals God as the source of all intelligence and wisdom, so the guidance we need to address difficult situations comes directly from God, divine Mind. I related the situation to the school principal. He talked to the girls and their parents, who agreed to be supportive of my daughter. When she returned to school, the atmosphere was friendlier. Soon she made friends. Several of her classmates invited us to their homes for dinner, and my daughter participated in school activities.
The anxious time had passed. My daughter’s pure, simple, innocent trust in God helped her prove that seeing others as God created them and expressing brotherly love casts out fear and danger and keeps us safe.
Each of us, including you and me and those we love, is safe and secure because God, who is Love, loves each one of us, individually and collectively. And as a hymn says,
Love knows no evil, neither shade of sadness;
Love casts out every fear, lifts the heart to gladness.
Love heals our every ill,
All the law does love fulfill.
Love is our answered prayer.
(Margaret Morrison, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 179, © CSBD)