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Only Love's atmosphere

From The Christian Science Journal - June 27, 2012

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I would like to express gratitude for an experience that gave me an improved understanding regarding weather. The weather, often defined as “the state of the atmosphere,” seems (to material sense) to be something outside ourselves. But I have learned that the weather or atmospheric conditions are actually perceived in consciousness, and therefore are subject to consciousness.  

When thought blends with God, divine Mind, we cannot be victims of the weather. God has given us dominion “over all the earth” according to Genesis 1:26, and the weather or atmosphere is included in that dominion.

Late one afternoon, my granddaughter and I decided to make a quick trip to the pet store. It was closing shortly, but we had just enough time to drive there and make our purchase. Not far from home, stopped at a red light, I looked up. There in the sky, hovering over the pet store, was a funnel cloud—something I had never seen before, except in photos and on TV. I remembered someone saying earlier in the afternoon that there were tornadoes in the area, and that much damage had been done in several other places.   

I reached out to God for an answer as to what to do. Then, I suddenly remembered that we were nearing the day to vote for governor of our state, and that this funnel cloud was directly over the hometown of one of the candidates. 

The candidates had filled the campaign with political mudslinging, criticisms, accusations, and much condemnation hurled at one another. In fact, it was not unusual to be out in public and to overhear a stranger comment on how confusing it was to know for whom to vote, or to say there was no good choice of candidate. Neither candidate seemed very desirable.

I began to pray—about both the tornado and the negative political campaign. I realized as I prayed that there could be only one real atmosphere (physical or mental)—the atmosphere of God, divine Love—and that everyone was included in that all-harmonious atmosphere that God created. Only the action of divine Love could be present and have power. 

Criticism, finger-pointing, and condemnation had no place in God’s kingdom. These were only untrue suggestions about man’s nature—man, who is the image and likeness of God, divine Love. There could be no destructive activity of any kind; only the omnipotent, all-acting God was present. God, as Father-Mother Mind, was blessing each and every one of His children, and they were responding to that love, through expressing lovingkindness and moral courage.  

I also realized that because everyone is an idea of God, Mind, no one could feel any fear or anxiety as to whom they should vote for. God was leading each one to make an intelligent decision and the right individual choice for them—everyone was responding to God’s guidance. 

I knew that God was in absolute control; the government of all mankind was in His hands. Therefore, malice and destructive tendencies had no power, no place in God’s creation. Even on earth, and in any human situation, divine Love is ever present, guarding and guiding. 

About this time, after I had prayed, the red light changed to green. I wondered, “Dear Father-Mother God, what should I do?” The thought came to me, “Look up.” When I did, instead of a funnel cloud, I saw only the top flat part of the cloud. It looked like a normal cloud. The twisted cone had vanished. 

My granddaughter and I continued on. When we arrived at the pet store, I saw a lot of water puddled on the ground, but the sun was out and it appeared nothing had been damaged. As we checked out at the store counter, the cashier said to me, “Did you see the weather?” 

“No,” I replied. 

“Well,” he said, “it was incredible. One minute, the winds were howling and threatening, and then it was just gone.”

“Yes,” another person in the store replied, “it was miraculous.” 

“Well,” I said, “I am certain God is in charge.” They smiled and nodded yes. 

But the dearest part of this experience for me came the next day around lunchtime. One of the gubernatorial candidates called a press conference. He announced that he had instructed all his campaign workers that no longer would he or his spokespersons reply to or retort to the negative accusations and comments of the opposing candidate. Nor would they make any negative comments of their own regarding the other candidate. From then on, he was running on the issues alone, and he would comment on the issues only. And even though the reporters tried to bring up unkind comments or accusations, he stuck to his decision.  

We had no more tornadoes—and no more torrents from this candidate. 

I knew that God was in absolute control; the government of all mankind was in His hands.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Science shows that material, conflicting mortal opinions and beliefs emit the effects of error at all times, but this atmosphere of mortal mind cannot be destructive to morals and health when it is opposed promptly and persistently by Christian Science. Truth and Love antidote this mental miasma, and thus invigorate and sustain existence” (pp. 273–274).

And Paul said, “In him [God] we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). So, our true atmosphere and consciousness is in and of God, the one Mind, not in or of many mortal minds or material forces. When we take a stand for this truth, we realize that because God is All-in-All, we cannot be outside His love, nor can there be any activity other than God’s all-powerful, ever-present Love, which can only and always does bless. 

When faced with a tornado, Mrs. Eddy said there is no storm “to hide God’s face, and there is nothing that can come between the light and us—it is divine Love’s weather” (Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, p. 355). I never understood what she meant by that until my own experience, and now I understand her statement to mean she saw only the ever-presence, omnipotence, and allness of divine Love. There is no other power within the Creator or His creation—no destructive forces, no criticism, no condemnation, nothing unkind or unloving. 

However frightening material sense seems to make the atmosphere around us, we do not have to accept its threatening thunders, lightnings, or high winds. We can be still and acknowledge the allness, omnipotence, and omnipresence of divine Love. It seems to me that this must be what Jesus understood when he calmed the storm and said, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39). He affirmed the presence of God and denied the seeming presence of material forces. This revealed the atmosphere of divine Love to be ever present and all-powerful, and it was reflected in peace and harmony.

Jane Hickson lives in Braselton, Georgia.

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