A Christian Science perspective.
As cases of swine flu appear in various nations, travel restrictions are being advised, and public health authorities in each country are taking steps they think are essential to protect citizens. Some news headlines are stirring up fear, and it's important to address concerns that the situation may mushroom into a worldwide pandemic. It's also wise not to ignore the condition, but rather to antidote these reports by responding vigorously with prayer.
The Bible provides antidotes for both fear and disease, and the 91st Psalm is an especially good resource. One passage addresses the uncertainty that can surround flu – particularly if people don't necessarily know whether they've been exposed or how to be safe. Speaking of life under God's care, the psalm declares, "You won't fear diseases that strike in the dark or sudden disaster at noon" (91:6, Contemporary English Version). Under God's care, there is no time or place where darkness – physical or mental – can hide or induce disease.
The Bible makes this point when it says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). In the presence of God, which is where all people – you, I, everyone – live, there is no darkness of sickness, disease, or danger. There's no need to accept the belief that certain countries where cases have occurred are in some way more dangerous than others or that some have purer environments than others. Prayer can recognize that all are loved and directed by God and live under the same light. This is the reality of our – and everyone's – being.
The world argues that we are material entities, each working our way through human existence, subject to whatever the world throws at us – including germs, microbes, disease, contamination. But as Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, put it in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual" (p. 468).