AS I sit at my desk, a gentle breeze is blowing in the window, a bird is singing nearby, and the sun is shining. It's a beautiful summer morning! The clear light and beauty of the day turn my thought to God, the source of all good, and I rejoice in these expressions of His presence and love.
But several items appearing in the news recently suggest that we should be fearful rather than delighted about a lovely sunny day. They report that concerns about the risks of skin cancer are increasing, and that it's no longer safe to be in the sun for any length of time. The National Weather Service has developed a ``solar-hazard rating,'' or ``ultraviolet index'' to be included with weather reports. This rating tells people the degree of danger from ultraviolet rays on any given day.
It doesn't seem right to live in fear of the sun or believe that it causes evil in the form of disease. There are, however, references to the sun in the Bible that give a totally different view. Two I particularly love are from Psalms. One says, ``For the Lord God is a sun and shield'' (84:11). And the other reassures us, ``The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night'' (121:6). In the first of these Bible passages, the sun is used to describe God, who is good, while the second tells us that the sun won't harm us.
I thought a lot about these passages recently when a condition that seemed to be skin cancer appeared on my face. I have always loved to be in the sunshine, and I rebelled at the idea that one would receive a sentence of disease for enjoying the outdoors. I turned to the Bible for strength and assurance, and also to the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which was written by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper. In the Glossary of her book I found a description of sun that reinforced for me the Bible's message that God is a sun and shield. ``Sun. The symbol of Soul governing man,--of Truth, Life, and Love'' (p. 595). Soul, Truth, Life, and Love are names of God. I thought about how man is created by God, who is Life. God-created man, which includes me, is always governed and protected by God, Soul; is dearly loved and cared for by this God who is Love; and is safe in God, Truth, who doesn't know, create, or permit evil or disease.
Christ Jesus revealed to mankind the true nature of God. His mission was to help us understand God as Spirit and Truth and Love, and know our relationship to God as His children. Jesus' teachings tell of God's goodness, allness, and power. He never accepted the validity of any power but God, and he proved the truth of his teachings by healing disease and sin.
I prayed to understand more of God as Spirit. My relationship to God is permanent and can't ever be broken, because I am His reflection, made in His image and likeness, as the Bible teaches. As His spiritual idea, His beloved child, I can never be separated from His love and care. Nor can I ever be subject to another power, since God is All and the only power. And His power brings blessing and health.
My prayer resulted in my having a greater trust in God's allness and His care for me. I lost all fear about the condition on my face. I knew that because God is good, nothing harmful can come from Him--and He is the only source! He is All and always present. There is no place for anything He did not create and therefore no place for disease. I simply would not believe that the sun or anything else could harm me, because I truly understood that God is the only cause. In about three weeks' time, the skin on my face was clear once again. The condition had completely disappeared.
We do not have to fear sunny days--we should enjoy them! And we can as we learn that the sun cannot harm us. It is not an evil power. God, good, is the only power and presence. Our understanding of this fact keeps us safe.