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Protected from contagion in the workplace

From the March 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Early in my career, I worked in a small factory in a midsize town. During the middle of winter, many people in the factory began excitedly talking about flu season, and, predictably, that illness seemed to aggressively manifest itself.  

Many people were out sick with the flu, and those who remained at the factory nervously talked about whether or not they would be next. However, as the Christian Scientist in the facility, I had a very different response. 

The ninety-first Psalm tells us, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling,” provided we reside mentally in the “secret place of the most High” (verses 10, 1). According to the divine Science of Christ, sickness is not of God and therefore cannot oppose His power; and as His children, we have the God-given ability to demonstrate dominion over anything unlike God, who is good. 

As I prayed to address contagion, I realized that my prayers couldn’t just be for my own protection—they had to be for everyone. Even if others didn’t understand the Science of Christ as a law of health, they didn’t have to suffer.

Over this period of time, two words repeatedly came into my thinking, which I interpreted as a clear angel message from God: “Blessed assurance.” To me, this meant that I could draw strength and comfort from the law of good, knowing that God is ever present, all-powerful, and completely in control of every situation. I was assured that there was no power to oppose the omnipotence of divine Love. The suggestions of disease and danger that seemed to hold everyone else’s attention didn’t need to capture mine. God, good, was right there in the office. 

Every time someone brought up the “plague” that seemed to grow more aggressive every day, I would silently but firmly respond within myself with those two words, “blessed assurance.” As I held fast to this idea, I began to palpably feel a sense of protection, and I prayed to know that others were protected as well. 

After several weeks of this, I was assigned to a two-day, eight-hour meeting in a small conference room. One of the other attendees seemed to be very ill and was frequently and loudly coughing. While the suggestion of contagion seemed to be very strong, I realized that I needed to meet it head on—and not just for me, but for everyone else in the room. The two words “blessed assurance” continued to be my mental shield as I worked to see everyone’s perfection and invulnerability as God’s children. 

By the second day of the meeting, I noticed that the individual who had been struggling was coughing much less frequently. As far as I recall, nobody else in the meeting became ill, and neither did I. 

The lesson I learned through this experience—that contagion in the workplace, even if it captures the imagination of everyone else, is not a law and is not invincible—has stuck with me. As with many lessons learned in my study of Christian Science, the effects of this one have been permanent. Throughout my career, I have not missed a single day of work due to illness.

William Whittenbury
Rancho Palos Verdes, California, US

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