WHEN I passed the crew working on a broken fire hydrant, the temperature was well below freezing. Water was spraying up into the air, and the men looked like walking icicles as their rain gear became encrusted with the freezing water.
Something in me rebelled at the miserable conditions the men were working under, so I reached out to God in prayer as I'm accustomed to doing. From my study of Christian Science, I knew that God loves His creation. Christ Jesus' healing and teaching makes this so clear to us! And I could see that because man is made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit, as the Bible tells us, he is wholly spiritual. Like his creator, man exists right now within the kingdom of heaven. I realized that since man--our ge nuine selfhood--is cared for at all times by God's infinite law of Love, no one could be dominated by physical circumstances.
As my heart reached out for a more spiritual understanding of God's care for those men working outside in the freezing weather, this thought came to me: "There is no outside to God's love. But what did that mean? The word outside took on new meaning for me at that moment. Those men might be outdoors, but they were not, could not be, outside God's care, outside His willingness and ability to govern and guard their actions. They always were inside His sheltering love. What a thought! It was the answer to m y concern about those workers.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "The Scriptures imply that God is All-in-all. From this it follows that nothing possesses reality nor existence except the divine Mind and His ideas. And in the next paragraph she concludes: "Hence all is Spirit and spiritual.
I saw that because God, divine Love, is All-in-all, He is infinite, and His creation exists within that infinity, within His allness. And because God is good, then only good could exist within that allness. I saw then that those men, as ideas of God, were safe in the allness of divine Love.
Later, at home, I was still thinking about these ideas. That night, at 2 a.m., I suddenly woke to an inner voice that said, "Get up and pray for all the people who are outside. The directive was so clear that I got up immediately and went to the kitchen table to pray and to write down all I had learned that day of the inclusive, unlimited, unbounded nature of God's love.
As I prayed I remembered a verse from Acts: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being. I became so certain of man's absolute dominion over circumstances that would claim to drag him outside the range of God's help, so certain that all God's ideas exist within the law of harmony, of wholeness, of justice, of mercy, that I was able to go back to bed and sleep peacefully.
The next day I heard a news report that told how, because of the extreme cold, all the shelters for the homeless had been filled. The city streets had been scoured, but at 3 a.m. a call had come in that five people were huddled in a remote alley. A van was sent to pick them up, and they were brought to shelter. The reporter felt that the story was remarkable evidence of goodwill in our city.
When I heard the reporter, I felt humbled by the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. And by the far-reaching value of perceiving even one small truth. God really is here, filling all space. We can never, ever be outside the range of His care.