Feeling safe in a dangerous neighborhood

I have lived in Lima, Peru, all my life, and I really love this city. It has many beautiful parks, plazas, beaches, and other fun places. However, like many cities around the world, Lima also has places that can be very dangerous. For most of high school, I hadn’t had to go to many of those areas of the city. But that was about to change.

One day, my high school history teacher assigned us a group project. Three of my friends and I decided to do the project together, and one said we could go to his house to work on it after school. We were excited to visit his house for the first time. However, none of us thought to ask him where he lived. 

After school, we all took a bus to his house. When we arrived, I realized we were in a neighborhood that I had never been to before, and that was considered dangerous because of the high levels of crime. But I didn’t let these thoughts distract me from what was important, which was finishing our project. 

We finished the project in about two hours, and by then it was very late. When I asked my friend where the bus station was so I could get home, he told me there was a station four blocks from his house. 

I realized we were in a neighborhood that I had never been to before and that was considered dangerous.

Because my other friends were going home by a different bus route, I set out alone to walk those four blocks. The street was not very pretty, and many of its buildings weren’t in good shape. I could have felt uncomfortable; after all, I knew the reputation of this area. However, at that moment I remembered a passage from the Bible that has helped me overcome many challenges through my life: “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).  

I paused for just a minute and prayed with that passage. I thought about the fact that we are all the creation of God, so we can’t harm each other, because God created us to be and do good, not harm. I also remembered something I’d learned in Christian Science Sunday School, which is that God is always caring for us. God is Love, and we can never be separated from Love, which is why we are always protected. All these beautiful thoughts made me feel safe, so I started walking toward the bus station. I arrived feeling calm, took the first bus that came, and arrived home safe and happy. 

God is Love, and we can never be separated from Love, which is why we are always protected. 

This experience taught me that no matter where we might find ourselves, divine Love is a constant protection for us, and we can see Love’s “very good” creation everywhere. Understanding this spiritual fact eradicates fear, makes us feel confident, and keeps us safe. 

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