I have noticed much in the news of late about the need to protect oneself from infectious germs. "Germ phobia" was the term I heard used to describe an apparent fanaticism involving a fear of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and the like.
I remember a television advertisement from some time ago that pictured a germ-killing mouthwash forming a huge bubble of protection around the person using it. As I watched, I was grateful to know that all of us-all of God's children-actually dwell in the kingdom of heaven, the all-encompassing presence of God, in which no element of disease can exist. It is liberating to recognize that God never made a substance foreign to His good nature. He never put life into materiality or created something harmful that could take on a nature or character apart from His spiritual nature. To me, fear of harmful substances lurking in unexpected places is really no more than the pagan worship of evil gods.
Yet this fear needs to be dealt with intelligently. It is certainly not something to be ignored. The Science of Christianity has shown me that we and our loved ones are actually spiritual, God's reflection. Our real identity is not made up of physical organisms that can at any moment play host to other organisms. Our original, spiritual identity is our very protection from all evil and from the specific effects of believing we are susceptible to disease.
We are each permanently surrounded by God's love and goodness, and this fact, understood, protects and heals us. God is our creator, and He is the substance of our being. Remembering this, and also that God fills all space, removes the temptation to believe in a power unlike God, unlike good. The Holy Bible says in Isaiah: "I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me . . . . Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (45:5, 22).
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is a book based on the Bible that declares God to be All. Any supposed power apart from God's power is shown through spiritual understanding to be no power at all. This book speaks of "a germ of infinite Truth" (p. 361), the power of which is superior to any evil. It says: "A germ of infinite Truth, though least in the kingdom of heaven, is the higher hope on earth . . . ." Even a glimpse of the nature of infinite Truth-a name for God-can strengthen our concept of God immensely, revealing Him as omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. This understanding enables us to bring healing to any situation where we fear that germs can be harmful to us.
Christian Science is God's revelation to mankind of the laws governing His creation-the very laws that enabled Jesus Christ to reach out compassionately and touch a leper, even though those seen to have leprosy were generally shunned by the community and thought to be unclean. "And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed" (Mark 1:40-42). To Jesus, God was greater than any disease.
In Science and Health a sad but significant incident is related: "A man was made to believe that he occupied a bed where a cholera patient had died. Immediately the symptoms of this disease appeared, and the man died. The fact was, that he had not caught the cholera by material contact, because no cholera patient had been in that bed" (p. 154). This incident proved that the man had not died because of the contagious nature of cholera, but because of his mistaken fear of and belief in an evil power apart from God, called contagion.
Happily, we need be neither unwitting nor knowing victims of disease in any form. We never need to fear what God has not made. He is the only lawgiver, and any proclamation that we are doomed to suffer from harmful microscopic organisms is false and powerless. The most effective warfare against germs is not found in their magnification or in the study of their behavior; it is found in the understanding of our spiritual identity, which dwells in God.