TRAVELING abroad, my daughter and I found ourselves being attacked by fleas. What can a minor irritation, like a fleabite, teach us about the existence of God, divine Love, and spiritual growth? One lesson I learned is that nothing is too minor to pray about, and solutions to minor problems can bring big blessings.
Actually, it was our guide and interpreter, who turned us to a spiritual solution. He asked one day why I didn't pray to handle the fleabites, if--as I had told him--prayer really was effective for every type of problem. That was a good question! Humbled and grateful for his perceptiveness, my daughter and I stopped joking about the fleabites, stopped counting them, and most important, stopped thinking about them as inevitable. We turned directly to God, the only source of life, for healing.
Numerous previous healings assured us that this annoyance would also yield to prayer. Quick and complete healing through prayer of other problems we had faced included mosquito bites, head lice, and dysentery.
Our prayer regarding the fleabites included daily Bible study. And we prayed to understand more of our likeness to our creator, God. God, Soul, is the source and substance of each idea, which is dependent on God alone for life. Passages from the Bible and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, brought out our God-given purity, freedom, and dominion over what Genesis describes as ``every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth'' (1:26).
A Bible story in Acts that tells how Paul shook a poisonous snake off his hand ``and felt no harm'' (28:5) helped us see how powerful God's care for His creation is. Mrs. Eddy refers to this event and to the story of Daniel in the lions' den in Science and Health. She writes: ``Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless. All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible'' (p.
Another passage from Science and Health also had special meaning for us: ``Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies'' (p. 162). We had been hanging our blankets in the sun each morning, in a vain attempt to rid them of fleas. Now we could see that it was the sunlight of Truth we needed, to purify our thought and neutralize the fear of fleabites.
We prayed to see life--our life, the life of fleas, and the life of everyone around us--as purely spiritual. We held to this truth and refused to be impressed by anything that tried to convince us otherwise. We soon forgot all about the fleas--we were no longer being bitten. We even had no compulsion to scratch any of the bites we had received earlier. These were soon gone.
For the rest of our journey, we remained unaffected by fleas or any other parasitic intruder. We were even more grateful, however, for the spiritual clarity of thought that made the healing so natural. This served as an inspiration throughout our travels.
Our guide rejoiced with us over our healing and acknowledged God as the source of it. In addition, a friend who had been very skeptical about Christian Science healing acknowledged prayer as legitimate and effective. She even shared with others the healing and protection we had received through prayer.
Truth and Love are universally available in every situation, at home or abroad, and no problem is ever too small to pray about.