Two months before my high school sweetheart and I were to be married, a drunk driver ran a red light and smashed head-on into our car. Even though I was wearing a seatbelt, the impact dislodged the front seat and sent me through the windshield and onto the pavement.
When I regained consciousness, I was in the hospital, where two nurses were taking glass shards out of my face. Unaware that I could hear them, they were sharing their professional opinions as to how many surgeries I would have to go through to repair the lacerations on my head and face.
I had no memory of the car accident, and I recall feeling that I was not part of what they were talking about. However, my face was swollen, my head hurt, and I couldn’t see out of one of my eyes. I also had a dislocated knee and shoulder, which were reset by the doctors.
I turned my thoughts to God. Having grown up attending a Christian Science Sunday School, I had learned a lot about God’s all-encompassing love. I’d had many healings of illnesses and injuries through prayer and had learned the impossibility of another power opposite to almighty divine Love. I understood to a degree that we can never be outside God’s protection and sweet, gentle care, because we are God’s ideas, governed by His law of wisdom.
My fiancé knew very little about Christian Science, but I assured him that God, the source of all power and goodness, was providing all I needed to have a complete healing. I had no fear or doubt. I remember feeling a deep gratitude just knowing that God guides and sustains us, and meets our every need.
My parents came to sign legal papers so I could leave the hospital. The doctors said they would agree to my leaving if I could walk to the wheelchair. Praying to see my oneness with God as His strong and capable expression, I was able to do it, and I left the hospital that same day. I lost consciousness once in the car going home, and my mother said later that she prayed out loud for twenty minutes, acknowledging God’s presence and power as well as my inseparable oneness with divine Love. I regained consciousness, and that was the last time I experienced that difficulty.
My mother shared with me how she was praying, affirming that God knew nothing of the accident. She asked me to read from page 424 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, where Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.” Thinking deeply about this passage helped me see more clearly that God’s law of order and harmony, not chance, was governing my life.
Once we were home, my mom told my siblings to cover the mirrors in the bathrooms and my bedroom. She made me promise not to peek. I was curious about my appearance, because people seemed so concerned when they saw me. But I resisted the temptation to look in a mirror, knowing that all I could see there was false evidence, not the truth of my spiritual perfection as God’s child.
The biggest challenge came in the middle of the night, when I was awakened with a severe headache and bleeding. The doctors had predicted that would happen, and I was frightened. My father came in and talked to me with such calm authority that the fear immediately began to recede. Though I don’t remember what he said, I had a clear sense that God was in control and I had nothing to fear. The headache went away, and the bleeding stopped. There was no more pain to deal with after that.
When I woke up the next morning, my pillow was covered with many small and some large pieces of glass that had come out during the night. That reminded me of a statement in Science and Health: “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive” (p. 463). The following morning there were more pieces of glass on my pillow, and then the cuts on my face closed up quickly.
My mother suggested that I get some index cards and write down passages from the Bible that spoke of God’s promises. I memorized many. My favorite, which I still remember today, is from Jeremiah 30:17: “I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.”
As I continued praying to understand my unity with God, the source of all harmonious action, I regained normal movement in my arm and knee. I was completely healed, and three days after the accident, no evidence of injury remained on my face or body.
On the fourth day, the hospital sent a representative to check on me. From the medical chart he had with him, he knew what the injuries were, as well as the doctors’ expectations about my condition. When he saw me, he had trouble believing I had been involved in any accident. With no need for delay, my wedding took place as planned.
I am very grateful to God that Mary Baker Eddy had such love for mankind that she dedicated her years to giving us the revelation of Christian Science, found in our wonderful textbook, Science and Health.
Nancy Schauman Smith
Harvard, Massachusetts, US
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