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Safe from fire

From the September 3, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Early in 2011, I received a frantic call from my daughter, “Dad, there is a huge fire headed for my house.” Her tone of voice was almost hysterical, and I was tempted to be thrown off stride. However, I had heard of that particular fire in Boulder, Colorado, where my daughter lived, and had already begun some protective prayerful work. I had not confined my prayer to my daughter, but included the entire community. 

I quickly shared with my daughter something that had come to me from the Bible. It was when God was speaking to a fearful Elijah: “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (I Kings 19:11, 12). 

In my prayers, I affirmed that God does not make “natural” disasters, and, therefore, we don’t have to fear them or feel powerless before them. I asked my daughter if she was in a safe place, and she said that she was not at home, but returning to Boulder from Denver, and that all her news was coming from the radio. I suggested that she needed to get her news from a more reliable source—from God, who would never make it possible for her to (finally) buy her first home and then allow its destruction. 

Her agitation subsided, and I asked her what she considered to be the important qualities of home. She ticked off things such as beauty, security, peace, welcome, comfort, and the like. I asked her if her house was the repository of these things or just the embodiment of them. She agreed that it only embodied these things which were ideas from God. We confirmed that with or without her house, these qualities were always hers and she could not lose them or be separated from them. I asked her to emphatically deny that wind or fire had power to destroy her sense of home and peace, and she agreed to do so. I also suggested that she call a Christian Science practitioner for specific support (which she did). I said I would keep my thinking clear about the situation. She hung up, and I continued to acknowledge God’s all-presence and goodness. 

When I got my peace, I turned my thought to other things. I did not hear from my daughter for another day, and, in our family, this generally means that things are fine. When I reached out to her, she said that shortly after our call the winds turned and blew the opposite direction, pushing the fire back on areas that had already been burned, and then the wind died out. Her home had not been touched nor had any other homes, only a barn and a few small sheds, even though the fire had ripped through about 2,600 acres of land. My daughter had not been allowed to return to her home yet, but had found refuge with a friend. The next morning she was allowed to go back to her house. 

My daughter was deeply grateful for the change in events and felt that our prayer had something to do with it. I’m glad that this could serve as just one more proof that we can demonstrate man’s dominion over the chaotic evidence of material sense, through the application of Christian Science.

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