One day this past summer, I was carrying my son down a small flight of stairs. On the last step, my shoe slipped and I stepped down awkwardly on my ankle and felt it crack. I began to experience pain; however, my first instinct was to protect my son, so I managed to stay upright instead of falling.
I immediately kept walking, slowly, but the pain increased. I felt that I had two options. As a practicing Christian Scientist, I am used to turning prayerfully to God for any answer I need, so I was not surprised that the first thought I had was that I could pray and find freedom from this accident. Another quieter thought came as well: I could reject the notion of having fallen in the first place, and continue rejoicing unceasingly in the spiritual unfoldment of the day, which had been filled with prayer for others and the world, and this prayer did not need to be interrupted by fear.
I was reminded of Moses’ entreaty to the children of Israel to choose whom they would serve: life, or death (see Deuteronomy 30:19). While that choice may seem a little extreme, I saw that in this moment, by choosing to accept a material reality where accidents can happen, or to stick with my previous standpoint of rejoicing ceaselessly in God’s omnipotent love and care for His spiritual idea, man, I was essentially choosing either an experience full of starts and stops, subject to swinging back and forth between good and bad and prone to accident and chance, or choosing the continuity and omnipotence of divine Life, which I have learned through my study of Christian Science to be a synonym for God.
This was a very quick thought process. Before I’d taken five steps, I’d chosen to carry on with joy and confidence in the truth, rejecting the very premise that I had fallen. I immediately found freedom in my step, and there was no more pain.
A little later, during dinner, the thought occurred to me, “Many people might feel that it is wise to ice this ankle, just to stave off any bad after-effects.” I have never iced an injury before, so this came out of the blue. As I started considering this, I noticed my ankle throbbing, and I started to question the wisdom of not following this remedy. But because expressing joy was such a hallmark idea earlier that day, I immediately looked for something to be joyful about.
Quickly, the idea came that I could be so joyful that I had the right to choose whatever care I felt was best. This was a clear turning point for me in the healing, when I realized my choice to rely on Christian Science wasn’t because there was some mandate dictating how I seek healing, and which I was blindly obeying, but because I knew relying on Christian Science was the best possible form of care. I had the right and the freedom to stick with my conviction of the truth of uninterrupted good. My son was safe, I was safe, God loved us all, and that was that. I did not need to let thought wander into the ifs, ands, or buts of self-diagnosis, fear, or popular belief. I carried on with my dinner and soon realized, upon getting up, that there was absolutely no pain, throbbing, or anything other than normalcy in my ankle.
I should also share that I have been training for obstacle races, and when this event happened, one of my biggest fears was that I might be sidelined and unable to train anymore, or at the least, that it would be unwise to train. This fear was handled and dismissed right along with the rest of the fear and pain, and I have been able to continue my training with joy and confidence.
I am very grateful for the clarity that Christian Science brings to my thought and perception of God’s presence and love, and the creative, sustaining impact of that divine presence in my life. As the Psalmist wrote, “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” (Psalms 36:9). The light of Truth and perfect Love, which is Life itself, enables us all to see His perfect creation, including ourselves and others, as unfallen and whole.
I love the power of Christ Jesus’ encouraging words: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). This kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, defined in part by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, as, “The reign of harmony in divine Science” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 590), is truly ever-present and includes all of us.
Maryland Heights, Missouri, US
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