Tomorrow, a new movie hits the screen. I have seen previews for this movie and I was shocked at the subject matter. The movie is Contagion and I have to say I cannot understand why anyone would want to see such a movie! What a scary thing it would be to pay good money to see people fighting and losing a battle against a terrible disease that is taking over their bodies and the bodies of their family and friends and killing them slowly. The contagious disease is portrayed as being powerful and controlling the country when the exact opposite is true – God is the only power and is in control of the universe.
It seems that the radio, television, and internet are just full of predictions of epidemics or contagious diseases. Every time one of these commercials or documentaries is seen, it has an almost hypnotic effect on people. People become very fearful that an epidemic is very near. These predictions always include a way to protect oneself against the epidemic. But often the protection is not reliable, available nor effective. Prayer, however, is always effective and is always available.
The Bible says: “There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18) These inspired words are helpful when praying about fearful situations. When you replace all fear about contagion with “perfect love” then you are building a defense that cannot be invaded by disease of any kind. And, in Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy, we read on page 229, in an article entitled Contagion, “A calm Christian state of mind is a better prevention of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method; and the ‘perfect Love’ that ‘casteth out fear’ is a sure defense.” Isn’t it easier to believe that man is not at the mercies of contagion than to believe there is something lurking out there just waiting to invade your body?
As the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Tennessee, one of my jobs is to work with the legislators in this state on important issues such as vaccines. So, that means that I often have to answer questions about contagion and how that relates to Christian Science beliefs. I assure the lawmakers that Christian Scientists rely on God for all their needs and that this reliance on God is the protection needed against contagion, not vaccines. And I am sure to explain that just because Christian Scientists do not fear contagion does not mean that they are indifferent to the fears of others or hardened to their suffering. Quite the opposite! Christian Scientists include all mankind in their prayers. Mary Baker Eddy wrote this in Miscellany, page 116: “At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion.”
So, whether you are praying about influenza or bird flu or whatever epidemic is next predicted, know that you do not have to fear contagion. You can know that God is always present and you don’t need to be afraid.