Faces on Faith: Where is safety to be found?
The “Christian Science Monitor” devoted a recent issue to the subject of guns.
John Yemma, Monitor editor, tells the story of a close personal friend, a woman who was recently divorced and found herself constantly afraid. Her brother, a policeman, in an effort to calm her fears, bought her a gun and taught her how to shoot it. She later commented to Yemma, “I keep my gun always close at hand and my magazine full, but I never feel safe.”
As a Christian Scientist, I was stunned to think that the only safety to be found in life is a magazine full of lethal bullets. Then, almost immediately I thought, wait a minute, we too, have our magazines always full. Mary Baker Eddy, in her seminal work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures wrote: “Clad in the panoply of love, human hatred cannot reach you.”
We Christians are fully armed, but “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, to the pulling down of strongholds,” according to the King James Version of the Bible.
President Obama in a recent speech to the nation quoted a familiar scripture from II Timothy: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
In today’s toxic environment of 24/7 news, it can easily feel as if we’re constantly threatened, by bullets of hate, prejudice, intimidation and violence. But I love the idea – the mental picture of being clothed, shielded, with God’s infinite protection. The New Living Bible translation puts it so beautifully in Colossians 3:l2, l4: “Since God has chosen you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderheartedness, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
I have to believe that all the major religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, would embrace that message from Colossians. Truly, God does bind us together in love, enabling us to live lives of courage, strength, empowerment and, above all, freedom from fear, which is the ultimate safety.