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Musician’s wounded finger healed

From the January 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Almost 20 years ago, while I was helping a friend box up items, a sharp blade slipped and deeply sliced one of my fingers to the bone. Faced with what to do next, I took a “grand pause,” as we say in music. My friend, a fellow Christian Scientist, and I immediately turned to God in prayer. I was struggling with the pain and felt myself sinking to the floor. Immediately my friend declared firmly, “God is here—right here!” In a few minutes, the pain lessened enough so that I could walk around. We bandaged the wound and continued praying.

Christ Jesus instructed, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). This was what I was doing as I listened to God.

I had been expressing anger at the time of the accident, and it became clear that I needed to settle my thoughts. I needed to be receptive to spiritually uplifting thoughts from God and to refrain from accepting negativity as a part of me. By extension, that meant the physical wound, which was not a product of God’s goodness and love, wasn’t part of the package either.

As a professional pianist with a classical vocalist to accompany in concert in two weeks, I had the thought, “Why, no one would blame you for getting stitches.” Indeed, I knew that would be the case. My career was at stake, as far as I was concerned at that moment in time. I had already experienced many healings through prayer as taught in Christian Science, and yet I felt this was a turning point for me. Did I really believe that Christian Science would work this time? 

Many phrases from the Bible, angel messages from God, poured into my thought, such as “Choose ye” (see Joshua 24:15, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”), and “Take a stand” (see II Chronicles 20:17, “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord”). And I thought: “You either believe that God can heal this, or He can’t really heal anything. Trust. Be firm.”

My motivation for a complete and swift healing was twofold: I wanted to honor and complete my assignment with the vocalist, participating in his many rehearsals, and the recital, but, more important, I yearned to prove the glory of God to myself on this day, and for the rest of my life. The thought of possibly ruining a finger long-term by not seeking medical attention faded along with the fear. I called a Christian Science practitioner, and she lovingly prayed with me over the next few weeks. 

The pain, which had subsided to more of a dull ache, was addressed quickly. However, I expressed concern not only about short-term, but long-term effects from the wound. The practitioner assured me that God would not take me halfway on this exploration of my true spiritual selfhood, but all of the way. Completeness and wholeness were my divine right as an expression of Soul.   

The practitioner asked me to pray with Hymn 148 from the Christian Science Hymnal, which begins, In heavenly Love abiding, / No change my heart shall fear” (Anna L. Waring).

I also remembered the hymn phrase “touch, each wound and smart,” and looked up the entire hymn to see the context, which changed my thinking once again. The last verse reads: 

Give me, O Lord, a gentle, loving heart,
That I may learn to be more 
tender, kind,

And with Thy healing touch, each 
wound and smart

With Christly bands of Love and 
Truth to bind.

(James J. Rome, Hymnal, No. 69)

This verse not only helped with any residual ache, but helped me to realize the need to completely let go of the anger I’d been feeling at the time of the accident. As I continued to pray with this verse, internalizing its meaning, I was able to forgive myself, and of course, forgive the person at whom my anger had been directed.

I love that no matter what challenge comes up, we can turn with full confidence to our creator, who loves us so much and so completely that we can confidently expect His healing power to erase our fears and heal our diseases. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote so beautifully: “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).

Thankfully, I did not miss any rehearsals (although my fingerings for the music had to be adjusted a bit for a few days!), and the concert two weeks later went off swimmingly with all ten fingers in full motion. To this day, I don’t recall which finger was cut, as the healing was so complete that no scar remains.

For this and many, many other wonderful demonstrations of God’s power and protecting presence in my life, I am most humbly grateful.

Deborah Offenhauser
Phoenix, Arizona, US

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