WHILE MY FIFTH-GRADE students were listening intently as my teaching partner read to them, I was overtaken by an extreme pain in my lower abdomen. Initially, I tried to fight it off with a silent prayer and sheer determination. Finally, I got up from my desk and stretched out on the floor behind the wall separating me from the students. I refused to allow anything to keep me from executing my responsibilities to the children, so I got up and returned to my desk to prepare for the next activity, grateful I had those few moments to quietly and more fully recognize what I had been praying, that I was at one with our Father-Mother God. When the last student left the room headed to physical education class, I called a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful support.
We agreed to see that the pain was nothing more than a suggestion, mortal mind's attempt to hypnotize me into believing in a power other than God, the one Mind. I asked the practitioner to continue to support me, and since the students were scheduled to be out of the classroom with other instructors, it seemed acceptable for me to leave for the rest of the day.
When I arrived home—a short trip across campus—the pain had become much more intense, and I could barely walk. I called my wife to let her know where I was, and I called the practitioner to ask for additional help. My wife arrived, along with the Christian Science nurse she had called. At this point, I continued to cling to the truth of my inseparable relationship with God, resisting the temptation to look for a tangible cause for this pain.