Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Singing for Jill, and All ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Singing for Jill, and All ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

From the time journalist Jill Carroll was reported captured until the news of her release, I've been singing - silently, hopefully, expectantly. Like thousands and thousands of people worldwide, I've been praying daily for the restoration of freedom to her and to others in similar circumstances.

Each time I prayed about this situation, the biblical story of the imprisonment of Paul and Silas came to mind, and I have not tired of the lessons it teaches nor doubted the strength and power of its messages.

As the story in the book of Acts unfolds, these two apostles were going about their business, healing. Following the healing of a slave woman, a fortune teller, which had detrimental financial implications for her owners, Paul and Silas were thrown into the "inner cell" and carefully guarded.

It would appear that everything had been done to keep them from their work and the rapid progress they'd been making. But nothing could keep them from praying, and pray they did. "And [they] sang praises unto God" (Acts 16:25).

Picturing them beaten, and sitting in stocks, presumably in darkness, I understand their natural inclination to pray. But sing? Why did they sing, I've asked myself. The only answer that has satisfied me is: Because they knew He was there, with them, listening. No matter what, the love of God accompanied them, and they, even then, loved God back. Paul was living his words, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38, 39).

Suddenly, there was an earthquake that broke up the foundations of the prison and set all the prisoners free. When the warden realized what had happened he intended to kill himself, but Paul stopped him, telling him that all the prisoners were there. The warden could attribute the release only to the power of God, and in gratitude he cared for Paul and Silas before they went on their way. …

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