They took my phone, but I prayed

One day after school, I went to the library to prepare for a test we had the next day. What I didn’t realize was that there was some sort of curfew in our neighborhood. 

I stayed at the library until it closed at 8:30 p.m. When I started walking home, I noticed that there were very few people out on the street. Everything was quiet. 

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Soon, three police officers came toward me. They stopped me and asked for my ID card, which I didn’t have on me. I told them I was a student and that I was coming from the library. It was obvious that the officers were drunk. 

Unfortunately, in my city, it’s not uncommon to see police officers drunk while on duty. And very often, in a situation like the one I found myself in, the officers tend to extort everything the person has before letting them go. At this point, I became concerned about the phone I had with me, because I thought they might try to take it. 

Three police officers came toward me. 

I started to pray as I’d learned to in Christian Science Sunday School. My prayer was to see these officers as they really are—to see them through God’s eyes—no matter how they were acting. I tried to listen to God rather than focus on their disturbing behavior.

As the interrogation continued, the officers made it clear that they were looking for drug dealers. I wasn’t one, so I stayed calm. They searched me and asked me to take off my shoes. They took everything, including my phone. 

At that moment, the last line of “the scientific statement of being” from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy came to mind: “Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (p. 468). I’d been praying to see these men as God created them rather than as defined by their actions, and this passage was exactly the idea I needed. I knew right away that these officers, being spiritual, could do nothing besides what God, Spirit, was causing them to do. I saw that they each expressed only infinite God, good.

I knew right away that these officers, being spiritual, could do nothing besides what God, Spirit, was causing them to do. 

Suddenly, one of the officers told the one holding my phone to give it back to me. Then he asked me to gather my things and start running. When it became clear that they were not following me, the whole situation turned into a fun activity, running barefoot from that place to our house, which was a few blocks away. Later, when I told my friends what had happened, they were all very surprised that the officers had given me back my phone.

This experience taught me that prayer can change the outcome of a scary situation, when we see others as God created them­—spiritual and completely good.

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