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ARTHRITIS—HEALED

From the February 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal


WE LIVE IN A TALL, NARROW townhouse in London, and when it got more and more difficult to navigate up and down the flights of stairs, I knew I needed help. For months I'd been experiencing stiffness, swelling, and pain in one knee, and though at first I hadn't given it much thought, it was time to call a Christian Science practitioner to support me in prayer. Over the next few months, there was intermittent relief, followed by pain and restricted mobility.

One day the pain became unbearable, and I went to see the medical staff at my workplace. What the doctor told me was even more disheartening than the pain. He said it looked like arthritis and announced it wouldn't "just go away"—that it would get progressively worse, and there wasn't much he could do about it. With compassion, he handed me some painkillers with a glass of water. I was in so much pain that I took them.

The pills had absolutely no effect, and to be honest, I was disappointed. I was hoping for some relief that afternoon, even if it was temporary. I knew from my own experience that Christian Science heals, and I realized I was looking in the wrong direction if I was looking to a physical solution for help. So then and there, I resolved to seek permanent healing through Christian Science.

I returned wholeheartedly to praying with the practitioner, learning more about my God-given perfection. But it was slow going. By now I was using a cane to walk and finding it nearly impossible to do the most ordinary things. I was especially sad to miss out on walks in the English countryside with my family, which is one of my favorite things to do.

When my work required me to go to Scotland for several weeks to manage a complicated media operation, I didn't see how I'd be able to do the job. I remember sitting in my hotel room in Glasgow, on the phone with the practitioner. She pointed out that decrepitude was entirely inconsistent with God's law.

As I really considered this statement during the next few days while we conducted rigorous site visits, I held to the fact that as God's image, I am a spiritual being—the ageless reflection of Life—not a discouraged mortal. I knew that a belief in decrepitude could never blot out my God-given joy or separate me from God, divine Love. It was important to see beyond the hope of healing my knee, and instead to face up to the belief in aging and the degeneration that comes with it. I became mindful of the need to overcome error with Truth in my "daily walk and conversation." Then I could expect what Mary Baker Eddy refers to as "having our part in the at-one-ment with Truth and Love" (Science and Health, p. 21). I resolved to take each step with gratitude for God's goodness.

It was with immense joy a few days later that I realized that the pain was gone. I celebrated with an early morning walk up a Scottish hillside to a beautiful overlook. There was no recovery process, no trace of the earlier disability—I was just free. I was able to complete my work in Scotland, and once home, rejoiced in returning to my active life again.

And that should be the end of this testimony, but it isn't. Several months later I began having painful swelling—but this time it was in the other knee. This made me see how ridiculous the whole belief was, and I was determined not to be fooled again. Turning to God, I rejected self-pity and discouragement. I knew from the earlier experience that nothing could prevent me from seeing the truth of myself as God's perfect creation. Within days, this copycat imposition in my thinking about my knee vanished, and I was free once and for all. It has now been over a year since the healing, and I've enjoyed strenuous family hiking holidays as well as hour-long walks to work with total mobility.

Looking back, one of the most powerful ideas the practitioner shared with me was that "healing is revealing." I used to think of healing like mending—you sew a button back on and you're finished—until the next button comes off. But I discovered that real healing is revealing what is already and always true—that we are the beloved spiritual reflection of God, Spirit. I rejoice that decrepitude isn't a law for anyone, ever, and that perfection, freedom, and harmony are universal, eternal laws for everyone.


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