Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Cole and the Ark of Safety ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Cole and the Ark of Safety ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

In the aftermath of last week's attack on the US destroyer Cole while it was refueling in Yemen, a reexamination of security procedures for military ships is underway.

There's an obvious concern for the future well-being of other Navy vessels and their crews. According to some experts, a US warship at sea is considered one of the securest places on the planet. The vessels are equipped to detect any threat long before the threat gets close.

But the Cole wasn't on the open sea. It was in a foreign harbor, and foreign ports require visiting vessels to submit to local rules and procedures that reduce a warship's security. For example, advance notification of arrival eliminates the protective veil of secrecy. Plus, every ship is sharing the port with hundreds of other vessels, large and small. There's no way of knowing if their intentions are hostile. In other words, despite the heightened security measures that will inevitably follow this tragedy, there's no human way to guarantee safety.

Knowing some divine facts is helpful, though. For instance, an Old Testament Bible passage says, "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" (Mal. 2:10). God's protecting presence is for all, regardless of nationality or religious belief. No one and no place is outside His reach. Nor is any place or person foreign in His eyes.

One of the earliest symbols of safety recorded is a ship - an ark, actually - which carried its cargo of people and animals safely through a hazardous journey. Every kind of animal was welcome on the ark. No kind was forbidden. Does this hint at another spiritual fact - that from the perspective of God, who is universal Love, none of His creation is excluded, unknown, foreign?

How do we make that spiritual fact real in our own life? Lift our perspective. Do away with the notion of foreigners - of us over here and them over there looking suspiciously different. Do away with that whole attitude. Replace it with an awareness of a shared divine heritage. …

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