LOVING, dedicated parents take many steps to ensure their children's safety. Warning them of dangers, investigating their activities, setting time limits for coming home and boundaries for playing, are some of the ways parents have of protecting children. But parents cannot be with their children every minute, especially as they grow older. Clearly, mothers and fathers would love to know that their children are safe at all times. This is possible. In harmony with the Bible, Christian Science teaches that God is the one Parent, the cause and creator of all that is good, of all that really exists. He is supremely powerful, infinite Love. It stands to reason, then, that there is no limitation on our divine Parent's ability to care for His creation. The omnipotent, perfect care of God for His children is the reality, and we can prove it.
Children are thought to be vulnerable--sometimes gullible, naive, trusting when trust is not warranted. Yet vulnerability is not characteristic of man as God has actually created him. Man is a generic term that includes everyone. The true selfhood of each one is the expression of God, His likeness, as the Bible teaches. Man reflects every quality of the divine nature--intelligence, discernment, and so forth. The need is to realize that our children naturally include these qualities, that there is no time or place where they are not present. Man's expression of the divine nature is not the result of experience or physical maturity.
Admittedly, this doesn't appear to be the case. But understanding the spiritual truth of man, which transcends appearances, will help bring out in our children more of the wisdom inherent in their true selfhood.
Spiritual intuitions can guide all of us, including our children. In the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mary Baker Eddy1 defines angels as ``God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality. 2
We saw evidence of this God-given spiritual intuition in an incident involving our 7-year-old son. We were visiting a scenic area one fall, and my husband and son decided to take a walk through some nearby woods, which bordered a beautiful river. They had been gone for some time when I heard a series of shots coming from the direction toward which they had been headed. Realizing suddenly that it was hunting season, I became very frightened. Even though ``No Hunting'' signs were posted, the signs might have been ignored, since it was such a deserted area.
A few minutes later, my husband and son appeared. ``I thought you were over that way, where the shots came from,'' I said. My husband explained that they had been headed that way, but that our son had suddenly refused to go any farther. Even though my husband was impatient with him and urged a further exploration, our son insisted. My gratitude overflowed for this example of what I discerned as our son's spiritual intuition, which had protected both him and his dad. Children are often very aware of God's angels through their natural receptivity to divine direction. Christ Jesus showed all of us the importance of childlike goodness and receptivity. ``Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein,'' 3 he taught.
Every moment parents have an opportunity to perceive their children as the likeness of God, upheld and protected by Him. The Christian Science Sunday School is a place where the children themselves can learn more about their God-given nature and the spiritual intuitions that will guide them rightly.
This teaching does not, however, take away from parents the responsibility to be alert and very careful to maintain a safe environment for their children. In fact, as parents begin to realize that they, too, have spiritual intuitions, and as they learn to listen to them through humble prayer to the one divine Mind, they will be better able to anticipate possible problem situations. They will find the wisdom of Almighty God a sure protection.
1 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2 Science and Health, p. 581. 3 Luke 18:17 DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in ti, when ye turnto the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21