I love to water-ski. It’s a thrill to feel the wind on my face and to see the tree-covered mountains fly past as my ski carves the glassy water under my feet.
While water-skiing last summer, I felt the muscles in my back strain and something shift in my spine. The pain was piercing, and my first thought was one of dread. Years ago, I needed the consistent and loving treatment of a Christian Science practitioner, as well as the care of a Christian Science nurse, for a similar condition.
I quickly considered what to do. I could drop the rope, figure out how to be hauled out of the water, worry everyone in the boat, and have them take me—where? Where could I go to be closer to God’s healing presence than I already was at that very moment?
The message of Psalm 139 instantly came into thought: “Whither shall I flee from thy presence? … If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (verses 7–10).This dissolved much of the fear, and I felt calm take its place.
Then determination set in. I knew that “God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin,” as Mary Baker Eddy assures us on page 412 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures—and I knew that I was innocent. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was expressing the divine energy of Spirit, the vitality of Life, God, and this right activity didn’t need to be stopped and, frankly, couldn’t be stopped. I held my position within the waves of the wake, and within thought.
I knew deeply that the only pull upon me is Godward. The only force and strength that holds every fiber of my being in its proper place is constant and divine. I am in God, in perfect harmony, and there is no other power or presence that can pull me out of God. I held there, listening to the angel messages continuously coming, until I felt the smile of confidence confirm a shift in awareness.
Having established the truth of my being, I now needed to make the move that would prove it to be applicable truth—and not just nice theory. Turning wholeheartedly to God, I cut across the wake, skiing with a sense of God-given dominion. I continued to ski and affirm the truth of my being, and the pain left.
The rest of that day and the next were spent swimming, jumping off the dock, and playing with my children. Several times a sharp twinge accompanied a movement. Each time, I affirmed that whatever activity I was involved in was one of joy, kindness, vitality, brotherly love—and carried no punishment. I continued with whatever affirmation the angel messages brought, which spotlighted the Truth already present.
At the end of the second day, I was thinking about how grateful I was for this healing. But Love gently chided as it uncovered another error to correct. My gratitude was for pain “removed” and a problem “fixed.” I realized that, though gratitude is important, the adversary would have me accept I was injured, out of alignment with good, that there was a moment when God had not been all-powerful and ever present. I had to affirm that I had never been outside of heaven, perfect harmony, God’s presence, and that this heartfelt realization is what I was truly grateful for.
That sealed the treatment. I skied freely, even stronger, for the remainder of my lake vacation and continue in my active lifestyle freely and painlessly.
Jennifer Van Patten
Reno, Nevada, US