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Safety Assured

THE book of Genesis in the Bible tells us, ''Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord,'' and explains that this was because he ''walked with God'' (6:8, 9). As a result, when earth's wickedness was to be destroyed, Noah listened when God told him what was required of him to be safe. The details of how this was to be accomplished may have seemed strange-for who would need a boat in the desert? But Noah was obedient. Thus, the ark was built and ready to house Noah's family and the animals even before the flood covered the earth. God's willingness to save isn't confined to Noah, or to some long-ago time. We too can find ''grace in the eyes of the Lord,'' and walk with God, as Noah did. As we realize more and more the significance of the spiritual fact that man is made in the image and likeness of God, we'll see that it's natural for us to obey our creator. Man is not only made in the image and likeness of God, but is also maintained by Him. That word maintained is derived from a Latin phrase that means ''to hold in the hand.'' Isn't it comforting to think that we, individually and collectively, are held in the hand of God? Our safety is assured, even without our being called on to build an ark such as Noah made! In the Glossary of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the author, Mary Baker Eddy, describes ark as ''safety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth, proved to be as immortal as its Principle; the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter.'' And she concludes: ''The ark indicates temptation overcome and followed by exaltation'' (p. 581). Since man is the reflection of Truth, God, it follows that whatever would question the indisputable fact of man's inseparability from God could not be true. Man cannot be separate from God, and this fact assures us that man is never all on his own, battling things out in a material world. Because man is God-created, wholly spiritual, we never need to entertain a material view of man, nor be taken in by it. Spiritual man-our genuine selfhood-can never be inveigled into participating in that which is unreal and unlike God. This gives us divine authority for consciously relying on God, and for being safely guided and directed, moment by moment, by Him. Noah's particular experience lasted quite a little while. One might ask, ''What about a situation in which one is confronted with sudden danger?'' I had an experience that showed me how immediately available the spiritual safety God gives us is. It illustrates how quickly a potentially dangerous situation was corrected when I refused to accept the false belief that man is other than made in the image and likeness of God. Safety for all was the outcome. I was walking in the capital city of another country. There were few people around, but I noticed a man watching me as I passed a building site. After I had walked about fifty yards further, someone came up behind me and put a hand over my mouth. Quicker than it takes to write or even read this, two things happened. I prayed, ''Father, forgive me for seeing Your child as imperfect.'' And I found that I had thrown the man over my head onto the ground in front of me. My bag, containing passport and traveler's checks, remained undisturbed under my arm. The man scurried away unharmed. The first thought that came to me was, ''Just like a circus act!'' Indeed it was. But as I continued on my way, almost smiling about that, I was thinking about exactly what had happened. I realized that the conscious correction of thought had immediately brought an adjustment in the circumstances. Although I had never learned any physical self-defense strategies, I had immediately acted in a way that resulted in safety for all concerned. Science and Health points out, ''The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind''(p. 162). This explains so succinctly what happened in my experience and how I saw practical evidence of the laws of divine Science. Let us put our hand into the hand of God. Our safety is assured when we walk in His grace all the way.