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Can you stop feeling vulnerable?

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

A friend of mine got off the bus one dark night and started walking the five or six blocks to her home. Shortly after the bus pulled away, someone started following her. She was frightened. As she walked, her fear increased. Soon she decided she could take the fear no more. She was going to confront whoever it was. Whatever was going to happen, she wanted to get it over with. So gathering up all her courage, she turned around to face the enemy.

He was a young teenager who lived near her. It was so dark that he was afraid. He recognized her and knew that if he kept her in his sights, he'd be safe. They walked on together chatting happily.

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It would be nice if all our fears could be settled so easily. But too often people are the victims of destructive circumstances.

Whenever I am in danger or feel vulnerable, two ideas have been helpful.

The first is understanding God better. The Bible teaches that God is good, divine Love, an infinite, unbounded Love that is always present and never stops giving and protecting. This divine Love of God is always available to bless, protect, and restore good to our lives when we realize and acknowledge it. Through the study of the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, I've come to see that this divine Love has all power; therefore, that which would harm really has no power. Because this divine Love is all-encompassing, destructive forces are illegitimate.

Hurtful things seem to happen every day. I've come to realize that this is because we, as a people, have not yet come to understand and accept this divine Love and its omnipotence. The more we grow to see this love of God more clearly, harmful and destructive threats will diminish until they finally cease.

The second idea that has helped me is that the Bible teaches that God is Spirit, and that man, including both genders and children too, is the image and likeness of God. Because man is the likeness of Spirit, man is really spiritual, composed of love, wisdom, integrity, beauty, holiness, and goodness. These qualities cannot be hurt, diseased, or destroyed. Therefore the man composed of these qualities cannot be harmed.

I've come to see that these two important ideas from the Bible come into our thought through the Christ. The Christ is the voice or message of God that comes to human hearts. The Christ enables me, or anyone, to feel the blessing and protection of divine Love. The Christ also makes me aware that my spiritual selfhood can never be the victim of dangerous circumstances - since God's messages are always available.

A healing I had a year ago illustrates this. One minute I was completely well and feeling great. The next minute I was seriously ill. It was as if I had been hit by a bolt of lightning. I was extremely ill for a couple of days, and the two ideas I've talked about here came to my rescue.

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I read "Science and Health" a great deal. I thought deeply about divine Love being ever present and thus rendering the illness void. And I thought about the fact that I had this spiritual nature that's never ill. These ideas that I've talked about here brought me past the fear of death. They renewed my sense of safety and security, peace and well-being. And by the end of the fourth day I was well.

For a while I wondered if something else could come "out of nowhere" like that to harm me. Was I vulnerable? But as I continued my deep study of "Science and Health" and contemplated those two ideas, I realized that the healing I had just experienced proved that God is Love. It also proved that knowing that my true identity is spiritual preserves, protects, and heals. I was not vulnerable.

As part of my daily prayer I try to realize that because God is Love He loves everyone deeply. That Love is here to protect us from harm.

Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.