Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Safe, Wherever ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Safe, Wherever ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

Our 17-year-old daughter was in an airplane high above the Atlantic ocean when I realized that she would be landing at the airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil early the next morning, having a 10- hour layover in a city that I knew nothing about. Earlier that day her flight had been rerouted through Sao Paulo.

I was volunteering at a camp for teens in the Rocky Mountains. My job was to help counselors and campers find spiritual strength, healing, guidance, and peace through prayer in their activities that ranged from backpacking in 14,000-foot mountains to whitewater rafting on one of the most demanding rivers in the Southwest.

Even though my days were filled with inspiration and I felt a deep-settled calm about our campers, I sat bolt upright at 2 a.m. when I realized that I could do some last-minute research on my laptop to see what Hannah's options were for boredom-alleviating activities and for finding a secure place to rest until her flight to Johannesburg, South Africa boarded later that day. I hoped she would call when she landed in Sao Paulo so I could suggest some places she might explore.

The first hit took my breath away: riots in the streets, burning of buses, and attacks on tourists. I spent the next hour doing what most parents would do - searching everything I could find. I made phone calls, learning, "Yes, there is grave concern about airport security in Sao Paulo...." In fact, travel through Sao Paulo was discouraged for the next few days.

I realized that this research wasn't enough. I wanted to pray. Oh, I had pleaded with God to protect my little (5-foot, 8-inch) girl. But pray - take a mental stand based on spiritual laws that govern the universe and find my peace - not yet.

I e-mailed people in Sao Paulo, some of whom I didn't even know, begging them to stay with my daughter until her connecting flight took off. My heart ached in a way I hadn't felt since she started kindergarten and I sat outside all morning, waiting until her little blond head appeared at lunchtime, her face beaming with delight at her new adventures. …

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