As I pray each day with the consciousness of our protection and complete safety from every ill, Mary Baker Eddy’s phrase “be it ever so severe” feels prominent in my affection for mankind. In its entirety it reads: “Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 149–150).
The words “will guide thee” were certainly present in an experience I had several years ago during a severe winter storm. My young daughters and I were traveling at night along icy, snowy roads, and our car was being severely buffeted by high winds. The snow was coming so fast and furiously that visibility was minimal. With about 50 miles yet ahead to reach home—traveling at ten miles per hour—the experience was threatening, with deserted roads and increasing blizzard conditions. While my younger daughter slept in the back seat, I affirmed out loud together with her older sister the truths of God’s all-presence and the reality of our actual living and moving about within divine Love’s infallible and infinite presence.
At one point we were crossing a long country bridge with no guard rails, just creeping through the snow, surrounded by black water on both sides. Fear tried to intrude and felt aggressively present, but that very moment I knew more strongly than ever that “All [was] infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation ….” This statement is from “the scientific statement of being,” found in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 468), and it formed the basis of our praying together that night.
A question in Psalms was very close in our hearts, too: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Psalms 139:7). The very consciousness of being in God’s presence was palpable as we drove along through the dark night barely seeing in front of the car. I saw that the suggestion of its being so very dark and scary could not terrify or weaken the recognized spiritual foundation of spiritual being. I heard words from the same psalm as my answer: “the night shineth as the day” (verse 12).
As we finished crossing the open bridge over the body of water, I was suddenly impelled to bring the car to a complete stop. Humanly it was totally unexplainable. It made no sense to stop moving in what seemed “the middle of nowhere”—no intersection or traffic light or apparent reason to stop—but I knew and felt God’s law directing us, protecting us. As the car came to a complete stop, a huge tree fell over across the road immediately in front of us. I sat there, awed at the evidence of Love’s protecting presence.
In moments I realized a very small car had been traveling behind us—the first car we’d seen in many miles. Since the blizzard was so dense, no headlights showed behind us. The man got out and came to my window. Astonished, he asked, “How did you know that tree was going to come down?“ I replied, “I had no idea, but we were praying, and were led to stop right here.”
The man worked for a while in clearing a way to pass—as did a couple of other helpful people who came along. We eventually reached home that night and continued to be in awe of God’s infinite care for His every idea.
Recently I was in the very same area, and drove along that exact road. The humongous base of that fallen tree was still there, and just seeing it there inspired such a deep humility for Love’s omnipresent care—constant, consistent, infallible, and infinitely perfect.
The wonderful realization that there is “no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee” stays with me today, and impels me to affirm with such gratitude that Love’s leading and Love’s guidance for each one of us is uninterruptible. His presence is before us and about us. Regardless of whether we are dealing with a picture of disease or injury or any other scary display of matter, we can move along every inch of the way, knowing that our Mother-Father God will not ever let us down. And just as that psalm showed us on that dark night, “the night shineth as the day.”
Creston, Ohio, US
A DAUGHTER REMEMBERS
I am the older daughter in my mother’s testimony, and was an elementary school student at the time of that Ohio blizzard. I remember not being fearful on the drive. When my mother stopped the car, I actually thought we had stopped at a stop sign. After a few moments when she didn’t drive on, I heard a thunderous noise as a gigantic tree came crashing down in front of our car. My mother and I both just sat there, staring at what had just happened.
I am still amazed at everything that transpired that evening. I remember how accepting I was, even as a child, that this was the normal manner in which we should all be led—by God. Being a parent myself now, I recall those moments and strive to express the same confidence in relying on God for all our activities.
Santa Monica, California, US
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