In late autumn, a few years ago, I went for a bicycle ride in Central Park in New York City. On my second lap around the park, a pedestrian unexpectedly darted between the bicyclists and runners, colliding with my bike. I flipped, landing on my head and shoulder. Though I was wearing a helmet, I lay there stunned. By the time I managed to sit up, I found that my right arm was hanging limply at my side. The collarbone appeared to be broken, and my shoulder was badly damaged. A passerby telephoned an ambulance and attempted to provide comfort both to me and the injured pedestrian.
I knew that I had to make up my mind immediately whether to agree with the material picture and seek medical attention or replace it with what was spiritually true about the whole situation. I knew that if I waited too long, the well-meaning attention of the bystanders, paramedics, and, ultimately, the trained medical personnel at a hospital might only reinforce in me a sense of accident—and the belief that I could be separated from God, from good.
The initial challenge as I sat there on the pavement was fear—fear that without medical intervention, my shoulder, arm, and collarbone would remain permanently misshapen. But then the thought came: “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2). Right there I determined to rely exclusively on Christian Science prayer to restore my thought to its natural understanding of “perfect God and perfect man” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 259).