Announcer: You're listening to The Herald of Christian Science, presented by The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Derek: And I'mOur program today focuses on how each one of us can help to "hold crime in check," along the lines Mrs. Eddy describes in Science and Health. We do this by expressing spiritual love.
Pat: When we think about the term spiritual love, that includes seeing our fellowman in his true identity as a child of God. Whenever this happens, whenever we see man as God's child, then a confrontation can be turned into an understanding of God's love and protection.
Derek:has talked to a woman whose experience illustrates this.
Paul: Her name is. It was her own response to crime that made a difference. This experience happened when she was a college student, living at home with her parents.
One evening after her classes, she got off the bus and was walking a few blocks to her home.
Win: It was a cold winter evening, and it was dark. But I wasn't paying attention to anything except getting home. To my surprise a man grabbed me by one shoulder, thrust a gun into my stomach, and said, "Don't scream, or I'll kill you." He forced me to a car that was parked across the street.
Paul: You felt he was serious about what he said?
Win: Oh yes, with a gun there was no question. And he drove extremely fast. A thought came to me from the Bible that I had memorized as a child: "Be still, and know that I am God." He was driving furiously down the street, almost out of control. I knew it wouldn't be wise to try to jump out of the car. The thought "Be still, and know that I am God" gave me a sense of calm. And I was listening.
Paul: Listening to God?
Win: For guidance from God. The ride lasted ten or fifteen minutes. We ended up in a wooded area on a hill, alone. When he stopped the car, I could have made a big screaming, kicking scene. I chose not to. He took out a cigarette. And this thought came to me: "Christian Science teaches us that God made man good. It says in the Bible God made man in His image and likeness. Therefore man must be good because he is in the image and likeness of God."
I asked him if he believed in God. He looked astounded. "What are you saying?" And I said, "I do." He smoked his cigarette very tensely, but he was willing to listen, and we started talking.
I wanted to help him because Christianity says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." This is the most powerful force on earth—love. This all tied into what I had learned in Christian Science. If I were going to be expressing Life or God, I would have to be loving toward this young man, because we were both the children of God.
I had a chance to prove what I was saying to him. A car came in the other direction, and I had to decide. Here comes help. Do I jump out of the automobile, wave this person down, and be rescued? Or do I trust the person whom I had told that he was worthy of love?
The car came, slowed down, and went by. I didn't try to jump out or signal. I wasn't sure at that point if that could have been the mistake that would cost me my life. But I didn't do it. I felt that I had done what I was supposed to do at that time. I believed what I had said to this young man—that he was good and that God didn't make him a sinner.
Paul: I gather from what you've said that your trust wasn't in him as a person but in God.
Win: Yes, I saw him as a spiritual idea of God, an expression of something good.
Paul: What happened next? What did you say?
Win: An idea came to me. We were talking about cars and what a good driver he was and how fast he could drive. I asked, "How fast do you think you could get me home?" He bragged that he could get me home in six minutes. I said, "You're kidding." He took me up on my challenge and started the car. It seemed like the speed of light, we went so fast. He knew exactly where to go and stopped at the end of the street.
Then he mentioned something about his life not being worth anything and the police getting him. I told him not to be afraid but to continue making choices every day, like the choice he had just made. I told him that if he continued to make good choices, he would be all right.
He speeded away, and I was able to go home and take the necessary steps of informing my parents why I was late. We, of course, called the police and reported what had happened.
Just about a week later the young man turned himself in to the police. There were other charges against him, other crimes and assaults. The judge sentenced him to seven to ten years in prison for what he had done.
This experience taught me not to respond by brute instinct to a situation. It taught me to listen and pray for guidance and to respond with basic truths that are founded in love.
Paul: Thank you, Winifred.
Pat: Our guest was trying to love, to love as Jesus taught us to love. And, of course, this is a spiritual love that enables one to see beyond criminal intentions and behold God's child.
Derek: Obviously, you're not loving a violent act. Spiritual love is based on an understanding that God is our Father-Mother, divine Love, and that His creation, His entire creation, is inevitably loving.
Pat: And law-abiding. And, actually, that true sense of Love is what heals.
Derek: The first verse of a song in the Christian Science Hymnal sums it all up:
Love one another,—word of revelation;
Love frees from error's thrall,—Love is liberation.
Love's way the Master trod;
He that loves shall walk with God.
Love is the royal way.
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