I HAD TAKEN A DAY OFF from work to help my in-laws sort through things for a yard sale at their parents' house before it was sold. It was the middle of summer, and the house had been closed up for months. We were working upstairs, and I wanted to open one of the windows to let in some air. Unfortunately, I didn't know the cord to the counterweight was broken, and when I unlocked the window, the top part dropped down, trapping my fingers between the two panes. I couldn't get my fingers out, and the window was too heavy for me to lift up. It took a few minutes for my aunt to lift the window and get me free. My fingers were bleeding, and the injury looked serious. Everyone was upset. (No one there was a Christian Scientist except me.)
My mother-in-law took me downstairs to clean up my hand and ran to get her husband. I was alone for a few minutes, and I could feel my body shaking. I was starting to cry. But the thought came, "Don't go there. You don't want to go there." I realized I had a choice—either to get upset or stay focused on God. I knew it wasn't fair for me to be injured. I was being loving and helping out. God doesn't punish us for doing good. I thought about what Science and Health says, "Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself" (p. 385). And when I looked the quotation up later, I found these sentences following it: "If you sprain the muscles or wound the flesh, your remedy is at hand. Mind decides whether or not the flesh shall be discolored, painful, swollen, and inflamed." But as soon as I remembered that first sentence, the pain in my hand stopped. But my hand still didn't feel normal.
My father-in-law and an uncle came in and checked my hand to make sure nothing was broken. They were relieved when they saw I could move all my fingers. But my uncle commented that my hand was already turning black and blue and that I'd probably lose my fingernails. Everyone knew that I was a Christian Scientist and respected my desire to work this out through prayer.