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On the bus in Jerusalem

From the August 2003 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Imagine living in a country where the threat of terrorism is so great that people leaving their homes in the morning wonder whether they will return at night. Where riding the bus to work is anything but routine. Where radio stations broadcast headlines like this: "There are twelve reliable warnings of possible terrorist attacks in Israel today, seven of them specific. The security forces remain on high alert."

As a resident of Israel, I have a choice to make when I hear this kind of report. Should I leave the safety of my home to do the things I feel I must do? Or should I stay in my house fearing that if I venture out I may not return? For me, the answer to the first question is, "Yes, go, but go with wisdom." And the answer to the second is an emphatic, "No!" Because I let the Bible guide me, and its message is that I should "not fear what man shall do unto me." Heb. 13:6. Rather, I can understandingly, actively, and fearlessly combat the crime of terrorism and refuse to be terrorized.

Every time I hear of terrorist attacks or warnings about them, I think of Jesus' words, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. I believe that Jesus is speaking here about the kingdom of God, which Mary Baker Eddy has described not as a location but as spiritual consciousness. To me, this Godlike consciousness is everyone's true home, spiritually speaking. And that means that the peace, safety, and security this home affords cannot be taken from me or from any of God's sons or daughters—no matter where they go. God's, that is, divine Love's, ever-presence ensures this. This is affirmed by King David when he writes, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Ps. 91:1.

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