Protected from danger, freed from lingering anxiety
Spiritual intuition—a clear, calm sense of divine direction and guidance—is something I’ve come to value and completely trust. This spiritual sense is inherent in all of us as the cherished children of God. In times of need—great and small—when I’ve turned to God and quietly listened, I’ve experienced what the prophet Isaiah said in the Bible: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
A number of years ago, I had an opportunity to prove the spiritual power of these words in an unexpected way. After the passing of my father, I wanted some time to myself to pray to better understand him as God’s eternal, spiritual child and to heal the sadness in my heart. I rode my motorcycle to a lovely state park—it was a gorgeous spring day—and I found a sun-warmed wall overlooking a quiet lake—a perfect place to think and pray.
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Lost in thought, I suddenly realized a man was standing quite close, on a gentle slope above me. He appeared agitated, switching his weight from foot to foot and then pacing back and forth. His presence made me uncomfortable and edgy. Within a matter of moments, however, the discomfort grew into a numbing terror. I sensed that I was in grave danger of sexual assault.
I reached out to God. I had time for only “Father, help me!” because the man suddenly moved to within a yard of me. Without thinking, I was on my feet. A voice in thought said firmly, “Step toward him.” I hesitated, but the thought came again, more strongly and loudly: “Step toward him now.” I obeyed. I stepped even closer and hollered, “Leave me alone!” He spun on his heel and ran away, up through the grass and into the woods.
I walked away in profound gratitude, but as I neared the parking lot, I saw that from behind a tree the man was sneaking toward me. My arm shot out and I felt impelled to point my finger at him, shouting, “No! You! Go!” He did, and I was able to get on my motorcycle and leave.
Mary Baker Eddy writes, “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). I knew that my Father-Mother God is always present, telling us, “This is the way, walk ye in it,” and that receptivity to divine Mind had protected me. However, the event continued to negatively impact my thought and actions. I found myself more hesitant to ride alone and blamed myself for having courted a dangerous situation.
But as I continued to grow in my spiritual understanding, I began to see that, in a spiritual sense, in the reality of God and His perfect creation, that man wasn’t “bad and predatory,” and I wasn’t “dumb and unaware.” I realized we were both—no matter how it appeared humanly—the direct spiritual representatives of divine Love, God, made in God’s image and likeness, expressing intelligence, calmness, and clarity of thought. We always had been and always would be. This understanding freed me from the aftereffects of this incident.
Human experience tells us that man can be deviant, greedy, unconsciously selfish. Or naive, vulnerable, blithely unthinking. But material opinions about life have nothing whatsoever to do with who man really is as the reflection of God. Mrs. Eddy says, “Every mortal must learn that there is neither power nor reality in evil” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 186). As the spiritual idea of his creator, man cannot be evil. It’s impossible.
A number of times the Bible states that when Christ Jesus looked upon those who were in need, he was “moved with compassion.” And then he healed—quickly and effectively. What was going on with those healings at their deepest level? In every situation, it was always the presence of Love, the divine Principle, being demonstrated. Jesus proved that God’s law governs man, as he saw man’s true spiritual selfhood in whatever situation confronted him. What naturally followed was that healing came to those with receptive hearts.
Grief about my dad was eased that day in the state park as my true Father’s care was so actively proven, and as I continued praying, full freedom came a short time later. And whenever the incident in the park comes to thought, which it seldom does these days, I see how God’s love and care have overcome disgust, judgment, and fear.
The countless Christian Science healings and demonstrations that have graced my life could well fill this entire publication. I have tremendous gratitude for all that God is and all that God causes to be. Amen.
Colleen Coleman Lester
Green Valley, Arizona, US