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I was sure of my safety

From the August 2003 issue of The Christian Science Journal


After World War II, I was living in Salzburg, Austria. New reinforcements of occupying soldiers had just arrived, and women didn't dare walk alone on the streets after dark. Incidents of crime were played up by the media, thus increasing fear among the citizenry.

One Wednesday evening I found myself left out on a street along with other passengers of a city bus that had broken down. I now faced the decision of whether to wait for another bus to arrive, which might take a long time, or to make my way on foot, taking a shortcut that would bring me home in about fifteen minutes. This shortcut, however, would lead me through an area not far from some military barracks, where there had been recent acts of violence widely publicized in the press. I had just attended a testimony meeting at a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and the selections from the Bible and Science and Health that had been read, as well as the testimonies of people's healings, had been inspiring. I felt so spiritually sustained that I gave little heed to the possibility of danger, though it did cross my mind fleetingly. Without any further thought, I set out foot in the darkness.

As I went along a deserted path, an occupation soldier suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He passed by me without saying a word, turned around, and them caught up to me once more. He walked past me with long, quick steps and hid behind a tree. I wondered: What is his intention?

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