I AM A LIFELONG Christian Scientist. My personal notebook records 53 specific and clear-cut demonstrations of the power of God, Spirit—of Truth, Life, and Love—in my experience. These demonstrations range from blood poisoning from an insect bite to the healing of spinal tuberculosis. In the latter case, I was sent home from a naval hospital in a body cast, with a diagnosis by Navy doctors and an eminent physician retained by my father that the spinal tuberculosis was fatal and incurable. (This healing is reported in the June 1989 Journal.) But my first healing through my own prayers taught me a priceless lesson I have never forgotten. It occurred when I was 12 years old.
When I was in the fifth grade, our athletic coach put me on the varsity baseball team, where everyone else was either a seventh or eighth grader. When I started the baseball season in the sixth grade, this coach expected big things from me. But in the first game of the season, I caught a fly ball in such a way as to split my hand open between the thumb and forefinger. I was taken to the infirmary and bandaged. It took some time for the hand to heal completely, and afterward, a scar and an ache remained.
I returned to baseball in time for the final game of the season—the fathers and sons game—and the coach put me back into the lineup. While warming up before the game, a sharp grounder hit the wounded area and reopened the wound. I had no desire to go through another recovery period, and turned immediately and unreservedly to God, divine Mind, to tell me what to do. The message came immediately to go to the dressing room and clean the blood off my hand and glove. This I did, and found the bleeding stopped when I pressed my thumb against my index finger. I started the game as an outfielder—praying that no ball would come to me, and none did. But when I struck out without swinging the bat, the coach pulled me out of the game.