'Not should - good does prevail over evil," I said to a neighbor. She flatly rejected that, and pointed out that for over a year evil had had the upper hand in our neighborhood.
A new resident, living smack next door to her, had turned out to be the biggest drug dealer in the northwest part of the state. Prosperous, he'd paid cash for his house. His illegal trade had flourished to the extent that the flow of in-state and out-of-state vehicles to his door continued day and night. A line of students from the nearby high school formed early each morning. From time to time, sirens pierced the air, as police and paramedics responded to calls about drug abuse and domestic violence.
We learned that the house was under police surveillance and that local agents of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration were monitoring it. But we could see nothing apparently coming of it all; the activity continued unchecked. On top of that, our own police department came under investigation for improprieties. Whom could we trust?
I knew I would continue to trust in the power of God's moral and spiritual law to deliver us from evil. God's law is the law of good. It is at the core of Christianity. It is always in force, just as the laws of mathematics are, no matter what errors may be made. God is Truth. Human errors do not have the power of Truth, and Truth uncovers and corrects them. When we focus our thoughts on these facts, we are praying. And we see evidence of Truth's power.
So whenever I passed the drug dealer's house, I would remind myself that there is only one legitimate business, God's business. And, that God's business is the unfolding of infinite good. Sooner or later, that which did not express God would fall, like the Berlin Wall and like the collapse of oppressive regimes in Eastern Europe. His power supports only what is moral and good.
Jesus summed up the idea of law as loving God, infinite good, above all else, and loving our neighbor as much as we love ourselves (see Matt. 22:35-40). The rewards are great: a clear conscience, a peaceful heart, and a growing conviction in our lives of dominion over evil. The healing Jesus did exemplified this dominion.
Mary Baker Eddy discovered in the 19th century that Jesus' power was his understanding of God's universal law, which he applied to human problems. And because God is infinite, God's law also has to be infinite - timeless, universal, embracing all. Mrs. Eddy discerned this fact as the central, spiritual message of the Bible.
She observed in "Miscellaneous Writings" that "law is never material: it is always mental and moral, and a commandment to the wise"; that "the foolish disobey moral law, and are punished" (Pg. 73). The same book also says later on, "From lack of moral strength empires fall" (Pg. 268).
Well, I recognized that illicit drug trafficking had no moral strength to support it. It was an "empire" that was destined to fall. From my study of the Bible, I had gained not only an understanding of God and goodness but also a sense of the hollowness of evil. I refused to give evil status in my thinking about our neighborhood, for it had none under God's law. Sometimes evil seems clever, but it is never intelligent, because it isn't part of God, the infinite intelligence. Not constructive, it cannot build. Not wise, it exposes itself and self-destructs.
These points helped me not to fear evil, and to have confidence in the unseen working of God's law, enforcing morality.
And working it was, all along. Our neighborhood is once again peaceful, and a new, law-abiding family has moved into that house. Change came when the drug dealer went to Texas to buy more drugs, for which he paid with a personal check. The seller turned out to be an undercover agent, who later presented the check as hard evidence in court. Now in a federal penitentiary, the dealer reportedly has said that he intends to go straight when released.
When evil seems to prosper, persist in affirming and trusting that God's law is supreme. Good must, and does, prevail.
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