A Treatment: “Confidence for all thy fears”(1) by Ronald L. Musselman, C.S.
The world has declared a health emergency over the novel coronavirus which requires that all individuals be on alert to limit the spread of the disease. The steps urged by health authorities are isolation whenever possible and the use of personal protective equipment if contact is necessary. This emergency is a call to all those in a position to help to step up and offer the best guidance and constructive thinking rapidly to lessen the severity and impact of this declared pandemic.
As Christian Scientists, we are being called as much as any emergency-room physician to address this international urgency. We have begun our immediate work, as reflected by the Christian Science Publishing Society’s having early on published articles on contagion and the coronavirus.(2-4)
The press is alerting us to the rapid spread of this disease by flooding the media with details of paths of and ways to combat its spread; it is intending to wake us to the need for serious protection. Unfortunately, one result of this advice is to instill fear in the mind of the public. In praying for the best path of thinking to counteract fear, it became clear that the antidote for fear is not to ignore the problem. No, it’s to step up and realize that to fear is to believe in a power apart from God. We have our own version of the advice of health professionals: we need to be alert to the loud claims, isolate our thinking from the fearful cacophony, and use our spiritual personal protective equipment.
Being alert means putting the truth about God and our protected relationship with Her first in mind. It means being alert to any suggestion that would purport to diminish the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. It means quieting thought enough to listen clearly to the ever-present qualities of Love and Mind that we always reflect. And it means being alert to any suggestion that we are or ever could be separate from God, that something is more powerful than God. It means putting up mental barriers, allowing only evidence of God’s omnipotent power to impress our thinking. Putting up mental barriers is, in fact, isolating ourselves from the fearful images that the news is throwing at us. Holding to the Truth that man is made in the image of God, that he or she isn’t even in the same mental space as error, protects us.
Realizing that man is in the “fourth dimension of Spirit”(5) immunizes us from the belief and fear that we are subject to an invasion. The three familiar spatial dimensions in which we seem to live are in fact limited views of infinite reality. “The fourth dimension of Spirit”, Mary Baker Eddy says, “…shows the impossibility of transmitting human ills, or evil, from one individual to another; that all true thoughts revolve in God's orbits:”(6)
By mentally living in God’s orbits, we are protected from and immune to supposed ills wafting about aimlessly in a mortal, three-dimensional atmosphere. Our true atmosphere is Love: "In atmosphere of Love divine We live and move and breathe; Though mortal eyes may see it not, ‘Tis sense that would deceive."(7) Our personal protective equipment is very effective. It’s our clear understanding and confidence that we are inseparable from Love.
When we realize that a pandemic illness is no more real than a bad dream, we can “leave [our] dreams for joyful waking”1. With clear thinking we realize that we can never be separate from divine Love; we are protected and cherished as perfect ideas, children, of God. Our personal protection is a part of our nature; the Parent of us protects Her own. We have only elements that reflect perfection and health. “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error…”(8) Not a single fear, not a single invader, not a single doubt. These truths give us “confidence for all [our] fears.”(1)
1. R.M. Turner, Hymn 202, Christian Science Hymnal, 1932.
2. D. Huebsch, Christian Science Sentinel, March 17, 2020.
3. M. B. Eddy, Christian Science Sentinel, March 9, 2020.
4. N. Talbot, Herold der Christlichen Wissenschaft. Online veröffentlicht am 23. März 2020.
5. M. B. Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 22:11–12.
6. M. B. Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 22:14–17 (to :).
7. H., Hymns 144 and 145, Christian Science Hymnal, 1932.
8. M. B. Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 463:12 (only, to ,)