One of my favorite Bible citations is from Second Timothy: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (4:2). I’ve taken this as a reminder that no matter what the circumstances, no matter what I’m doing, I need to have a readiness to engage in mental or audible prayer. For me, this prayer begins with “Father, I’m listening.” Father in this context means God, Spirit, divine Mind. I’ve found that when I’m earnestly seeking direction and willing to turn my thoughts away from circumstances to God, I do get direction.
In July of 2018 I had a wonderful opportunity to experience the healing joy of prayerfully listening. I was with my daughter helping her move to a farm she had purchased. While outside doing some work, I tripped over an unseen metal pipe in the grass and fell forward into a pile of metal garage items. One arm and wrist were bent and painful, and I was unable to rise. My daughter was across the yard in her vehicle getting ready to leave for farm supplies. From the ground, I waved my other arm to signal, but wasn’t seen.
This was a time to pray, “Father, I’m listening.” My directive was to get up! So I did. My daughter had been detained, so I carefully walked to her and explained what had happened. She is not a Christian Scientist, but always shows great respect for my choices, and I for hers, regarding health care. She gently asked if I wanted her to take me to emergency care. I said I wanted time to pray and that she could make her supply trip, knowing I would be all right. And she went ahead.
I started my prayer with “reprove”—to correct. I prayed to correct the false belief of accident by affirming that accidents are unknown to, disallowed by, God, divine Mind, which is the only Mind I express by reflection. I corrected my uneasy state of thought by letting it be replaced with calm, alertness to God’s presence, and complete trust that all was well.
We all have a divine right to this mental state. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy states: “There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction” (pp. 427–428). There is only one form of action in divine reality, and it is harmonious action. I denied the validity of any inaction, or reaction of swelling, I was seeing.
Next I prayed with “rebuke”—to strongly disapprove. I rebuked any belief of discomfort or distortion in consciousness and in my arm. I knew that God’s thoughts are only pure and correct. To address swelling, I rebuked the thought that I could be puffed up with suggestions of fear, being alone, or doubt about my ability to be healed. It wasn’t my ability at all. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God, Love, was certainly guiding the loving time I was having with my daughter.
Then I considered “exhort with all longsuffering”—strongly but patiently, and with compassion, urge the truth. With God at my side, I, being patient and waiting for my next directive, was able to feel His grace all around me. I was being comforted, held safely in the arms of divine Love, right there in the driveway.
As I stood, just loving the purpose of this farm, I was joyous to be a part of the move. My daughter is a special education teacher and was fulfilling her dream of having a farm for her students to visit. That joy catapulted my thought into a prayer of love for everything around me. Feeling love so predominantly, I knew that nothing did, or could, harm me. As a spiritual daughter of God, Love, I knew I was safe, unharmed, never in danger, and could never fall out of God’s loving presence, which was everywhere. It wasn’t more than 15 minutes before I felt a click in my arm and the wrist adjusted to its correct angle.
I look to Jesus Christ as my model for healing, and Mrs. Eddy helps us understand how Jesus healed, how she healed, and how we can. This is one of my favorite go-to statements from Science and Health: “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony” (p. 495).
I clung steadfastly to God and His idea and allowed nothing but God’s likeness to abide in my thought. I continued listening for and praying with spiritual ideas I’d learned through my study of Christian Science, and was smiling when my daughter returned two hours later. I told her about the adjustments in my arm and wrist.
I called my husband that evening to share it all with him. He expressed concern, as he is used to seeking medical help, but he also knew I was praying about it, which he is accustomed to seeing me do when there’s a problem.
Some swelling and discomfort remained in the arm, but I drove five hours to my home the next day. My husband said he’d feel better if I would have it X-rayed. We went that evening. It showed a break, but it had been completely set. I was given the choice of a plaster cast or a removable brace. I opted for the brace because I knew I’d be removing it soon.
I continued keeping an uplifted thought, letting God inspire me, and only wore the brace at times. Five days after returning from my daughter’s, my arm felt fine. Another X-ray was then taken by an orthopedic physician as requested by the emergency room physician. All was well. He asked that I return in three weeks for a final X-ray. I did, and when looking at the image, he said, “I’m really not sure now if this is a new break. It is so completely healed, I’d say it could have happened thirty years ago.” Joy and gratitude filled me. I shared this with both my daughter and husband, and both were pleased.
“Reproving, rebuking, exhorting” are essential to the Christian Science way of life and can be exercised by anyone putting God first, overturning all beliefs of inharmony whatever they are. It has been more than two and a half years since this healing, and it has been complete in every way.
My gratitude for a lifetime of Christian Science and its teachings is immeasurable! Praise God for this gift to all mankind.
Charlevoix, Michigan, US
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