Can we help stop the Zika virus?

The World Health Organization is making dire predictions about the spread of the Zika virus throughout the Americas. Meanwhile, fear is spreading at an even faster rate. In the search for a solution, I’ve been asking myself, what can I do to help? Here are a few ideas that have come to mind.

Stop the fear.

The first thing I’ve realized I can do is not feed into the fear. My favorite Psalm says,

“He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91).

For me, the “secret place” is the mental place of humility and receptivity, where I can hear Truth’s guidance and feel Love’s all-embracing care for me and for everyone. I recognize this as a crucial step toward healing, and one that stops fear from taking hold.

Know yourself.

The second thing I’ve realized I can do is to know my spiritual identity and my relationship to divine Love. In the book of Acts in the Bible, there’s a scene where the Apostle Paul’s ship crash lands on an island. The islanders build a fire to welcome them, and while Paul is adding wood to it, a snake emerges and bites him on the hand. He sees the snake, shakes it off, and continues his work, unfazed. The local people, however, are seriously alarmed! They recognize the snake to be lethally poisonous. They question whether he is some sort of god; his immunity is incredible to them, and so contrary to their understanding of nature.

Why was Paul unaffected by the poison?

Mary Baker Eddy, a 19th century New England author and founder of Christian Science writes this commentary on Paul’s experience:

“Understanding the control which Love held over all…Paul proved the viper to be harmless. All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. A realization of this grand verity was a source of strength to the ancient worthies. It supports Christian healing, and enables its possessor to emulate the example of Jesus. ‘And God saw that it was good.’” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.514).

Perhaps it was Paul’s conviction that nothing, not even poison, could stand in the way of his relationship to God — the universal power of Love and creator of all good — that left him unharmed. Maybe he saw all people and even all creatures as included in this universal creation of divine Love, and felt an innate authority to say “no” to any circumstance that would stand in the way of his God-given health and harmony.

Embrace the world.

Finally, I can expand my prayer to embrace all mankind. I can make the intentional effort to understand spiritually that every person, everywhere, shares the same holy, unbreakable, restorative relationship to divine Love that I feel when I pray…and that this is a law that governs our universe.

I recently heard a colleague recount a very meaningful story about his recovery from black water fever while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. He shared how, after reporting to Peace Corps in Manila, he sought help from a local Christian Science practitioner — one who helps others with God-based spiritual healing. She generously agreed to help and gave him a place to stay while healing. In less than two weeks, he recovered to the point of passing the Peace Corps physician’s clearance to return to the US for quarantine and re-entry. Still needing strengthening, he went to a non-medical Christian Science care facility in California, where he was cared for by a Christian Science nurse. After four days at the facility, he had recovered strength adequately to return home to Chicago and even took law entrance exams the next morning. He shared how the patience, love and expectancy of recovery expressed on the part of those caring for him played an instrumental role in his healing experience.

We might not be there to give the hands-on care needed in every case, but our conscientious prayers that focus on knowing that no one is ever outside of the loving, saving power of divine Love can do a world of good for our neighbors in need.

I’m grateful for these spiritual contributions I can readily make today.

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