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Safe haven in any storm

From The Christian Science Journal - August 27, 2012

The Bible is filled with beautiful imagery of the protective power of divine Love in emergencies. Perhaps one of the best-known is the 91st Psalm, which says: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. . . . He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust” (Psalms 91:1, 4).

One spring after a harsh winter we experienced a rapid thaw. The creek behind our house overflowed its banks, and the backyard flooded. Our home began to fill with several inches of water.

In the backyard sat a little hen house that housed our three pet chickens. One of the hens had been sitting on two eggs for several weeks, and her chicks were about ready to hatch. Concerned, I made my way across the yard to check on them. Although their house had a foot and a half of water in it, the chickens were safe in their roost. One egg had hatched and the chick was tucked safely under its mother’s wing. The second egg had a tiny hole in it. As the water continued to rise through the day, I became worried again. Returning to the hen house, I found the roost covered with water, but the chickens had perched way up high on sticks. And poking out from under the mother hen’s wings were two pairs of chick feet. Everyone was hatched—safe and sound, high and dry.

Later, as the water level began to recede and the cleanup began in our home, I remembered the beautiful, quiet scene of protection and love that was unfolding in my hen house. Right in the midst of the apparent destruction, divine Love was being expressed. In fact, that expression of the love of divine Love, and not the flood, was the most important thing happening on our property. I learned that no matter how threatening or distracting a problem may be, we can always find proof of God’s love. 

Right in the midst of the apparent destruction, divine Love was being expressed. 

Not long after, I received a call from a friend living in North Carolina. Her town was in direct line to be hit by a Category 2 storm. She asked me to pray with her, not only for her safety, but for the protection of everyone concerned. While we were speaking, she lost phone service.

I prayed immediately, considering the 91st Psalm. Then another scriptural image of omnipresent Love came to thought. It’s found in a description of the cherubim surrounding Ezekiel’s house with their protective wings. Cherubim is a biblical symbol of angelic presence. Ezekiel wrote, “And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh. . . . And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings” (Ezekiel 10:5, 8).

Throughout the Bible, the word hand often symbolizes spiritual strength, and prophetic visions of men with angels frequently denote the Christ—the presence of the power of God.

As I prayed, I understood that each one of God’s children actually dwells in the house, or consciousness, of divine Love, and is sheltered in the divine presence and power of Christ. Mary Baker Eddy referred to this consciousness, or house, as founded securely on the rock of Christ.

I was reassured by Mrs. Eddy’s comforting words in her book Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896. She wrote: “Of this we may be sure: that thoughts winged with peace and love breathe a silent benediction over all the earth, cooperate with the divine power, and brood unconsciously o’er the work of His hand. . . . 

“Thus founded upon the rock of Christ, when storm and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you, safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and Love, are God’s nestlings; and He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed” (p. 152). 

Later, when phone service was restored, I heard from my friend. She had had a remarkable experience. The wind and rain had begun to pick up, and she took refuge in an interior room of her house. Suddenly she heard what seemed to be thousands of birds chirping and beating against the windows all around her house. She was in a room with no windows, so she ran to another room to see what was happening outside. On the way, she thought, “If every bird in the neighborhood wants to seek shelter under my porch or next to my house, they are all welcome.” But when she came to the window, there were no birds. The sound had stopped. Looking out, she saw the wind and rain had stopped also. The sky was blue and the dark clouds were gone. She thought perhaps she was in the eye of the storm, but no more storm passed over. It simply stopped. Not a branch nor a leaf had fallen in her yard, and the usual few birds were out and chirping normally in the trees.

My friend’s experience, so reminiscent of the scriptural image of the cherubim, beautifully illustrates the eternal presence of divine Love that forever envelops us safely under its protective wings. We need not be afraid of the storms that arise in human experience. Dwelling beneath the shadow of the wing of Christ and yielding to Love’s presence, we find safety is right at hand.

Michelle Nanouche is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Saint Germain en Laye, France.

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