It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and I was reveling in the activity of the Christ in my life. I arrived at church early to get ready for my Sunday School class and to go up to the chime tower in our church to ring the chimes. The Bible Lesson for that week was “Adam and Fallen Man,” and the final hymn I chose for chiming was number 58 from the Christian Science Hymnal. The first verse ends, “In Thy Spirit living, moving, / We shall neither faint nor fall” (Elizabeth C. Adams, © CSBD).
When I finished, I descended from the chime tower to the balcony. But as I started down the balcony stairs, apparently my heel caught in the hem of my long skirt, and I went down the stairs into the foyer headfirst. I don’t remember the fall but was told about it later.
Two Christian Science nurses who were nearby came to my aid, and one of them got me to the Sunday School building quite a distance away. I don’t remember going to the Sunday School either. When I realized that something unusual was going on, there were four Christian Science nurses surrounding me with love. One was cleaning my wounds. A second was reading to me with such conviction that I knew I was listening to the Word of Truth. A third was praying for the situation while a Christian Science practitioner was being reached, and a fourth was attempting to reach my husband, who is not a Christian Scientist. At that time I was told that I had fallen. It was not lost on me that the Golden Text from the Christian Science Quarterly’s Bible Lesson for that week was “God hath made man upright” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).
My husband could not be reached, so after asking me what I would like to do, one of the Christian Science nurses drove me home, as another followed. On the way, I realized that I was already feeling the healing power of the Christ. Later I was told by one of the Christian Science nurses that as fast as the wounds were being cleaned up, they were closing and healing. I never had any scabs or scars from these wounds.
When I arrived home, my husband was there and was told what had happened. Because the Christian Science nurses weren’t impressed by the outward evidence of injury, neither was my husband. I was lucid and totally without pain, and I was upright.
One of the Christian Science nurses stayed with me for a couple of hours. My husband was so at ease about my care that he returned to his workshop. At that point I had been in touch with the practitioner, and I spent the rest of the day studying the “Adam and Fallen Man” Bible Lesson. I also decided to stay home from my teaching job the next day and had to prepare plans for a substitute. Although I felt no pain, there was extensive bruising on my face, and I didn’t want to alarm my students.
The next week’s Bible Lesson was titled “Mortals and Immortals,” and one of the correlative citations from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy was the following: “With its divine proof, Science reverses the evidence of material sense. Every quality and condition of mortality is lost, swallowed up in immortality” (p. 215). The practitioner and I were continually praying with the idea that there could be no evidence of an accident that had never happened in the spiritual reality of God’s creation. God’s immortal, spiritual idea had never fallen from His grace or out of His love.
I was able to cover up most of the discoloration with makeup, and when I would look in the mirror every morning that week, I tried to be as unimpressed by the evidence of injury as those Christian Science nurses had been who attended to me that Sunday. The very next week I attended church and sat away from the crowd, but friends whom I had not seen for a while saw me and came to sit next to me. Would they notice? I prayed, “There can be no false witnesses.” The service started, and the first words from the Scriptural Selection were, “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?” (II Corinthians 10:7). I laughed to myself, but I realized that I had been doing just that. I had been looking at the outward appearance rather than at the truth of what I am as God’s spiritual idea. That Sunday I went home refreshed and unimpressed by the outward picture.
The next week’s Bible Lesson was “Soul and Body.” On Monday morning as I was studying the Lesson, there it was: “the recipe for beauty.” Mrs. Eddy states in Science and Health, “The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony” (pp. 247–248). I went to school that morning, and as I was greeting each of my students, one little girl looked up at me and said, “Mrs. J., you look beautiful this morning.”
The healing was complete. There was no more bruising or evidence that anything had happened. Nothing really had happened, for God’s spiritual idea can never fall out of His tender care.
I am so very grateful for this beautiful demonstration of God’s love for me and for the understanding that—from the standpoint of eternal spiritual truth—I never actually fell. I am grateful that by the time I had arrived home, healing was already taking place, and my husband could see that I was being cared for. He and I were both protected from fear. And I am most grateful for the Christian Science nurses who attended to me that Sunday morning. Their conviction of truth and their spiritual understanding of God and man helped me to get up and walk.
Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man” (Science and Health, p. 393).
I am deeply grateful for the healing truth of Christian Science.
Pembroke, New Hampshire, US