In 1995, one month before my wedding, a friend and I went out to lunch. Our office building was on a busy four-lane street, which was generally quiet during that time of day, and there was a pedestrian traffic light right outside the entrance to our building.
On the way back to the office we again crossed the street at the pedestrian traffic light. The driver of the only car in sight had been distracted by his little daughter in the back seat (as he later explained) and didn’t notice me until the car and I collided. My friend had been walking a few steps behind me and was able to avoid a collision. I, on the other hand, was catapulted a fair distance behind the car before I landed on the pavement. A witness called 911, who dispatched the police and an ambulance.
Something wasn’t right with my left shoulder, and I thought that it might be dislocated. I agreed to be taken to a hospital so that it could be reset. Upon my arrival at the hospital, the doctors confirmed that I had suffered abrasions and contusions. Furthermore, they told me that instead of a dislocated left shoulder I had a broken collarbone. I explained to the staff in the emergency room that I was a Christian Scientist and did not want any pain medication, and this was accepted with understanding and respect. Other than cleaning the wounds and taking X-rays, no treatment was given at the hospital, and when my future husband came to pick me up a short time later, I went home.
After I got home, I asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer. He encouraged me not to let the outward appearance impress me. He and I prayed to recognize my integrity, since a spiritual idea cannot be touched by an accident. And that is exactly what we are as God’s children: spiritual ideas. Our identity is spiritual and cannot be impacted or affected by material circumstances, nor can they influence it in any way. The contusions and abrasions didn’t cause me pain and healed very quickly. Not a trace of these injuries was visible when my husband and I got married.
The collarbone, however, was not healing—despite my praying fervently and clinging to the truth of my spiritual identity. I was able to function passably, but many weeks went by that were filled with pain and an increasing feeling of discouragement. Finally, at my husband’s request, I went to an orthopedist who told me that it was necessary to pin the fracture since the bone was clearly not able to mend on its own. But I didn’t want to accept that verdict or take that step.
Shortly thereafter, however, I was walking down a street when suddenly a wave of anger washed over me. I was frustrated that I wasn’t seeing any more progress. The other injuries had been healed so quickly and beautifully! The path to the healing of the collarbone seemed terribly long, and for a few days now I had been struggling with the thought that it might not be possible without the surgery that had been recommended.
God had bestowed dominion on me.
With this feeling of intense anger, I said aloud, “One day you (the pain) will be gone, but I will still be here because God is not going to leave me hanging!” In other words, God is not going to leave me helpless. As I spoke these words, I realized that I had dominion over the situation because God had bestowed dominion on me. Nothing and no one could take away this dominion, which we find is made plain in the Bible; and as God’s image and likeness I am subject to His goodness alone, and not to material conditions and laws. This idea is part of a sentence in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, where she writes, “… Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes body tributary to Mind” (p. 119). Mind is a synonym for God, and I wanted to obey God and not be subject to material conditions.
From that moment on the healing came very quickly. Within a few days the collarbone mended, and I never again had any problems with it. It is neither sensitive to changes in weather (as the orthopedist had predicted it would be), nor do I experience limitations during the weight training I’ve been practicing for years with great joy.
The understanding that a problem, no matter how persistent it seems to be, must yield to God, has helped me many times in the years since this experience. Going forward, whatever needed to be overcome was tackled with greater confidence than before this realization. My husband and I often think back with great gratitude to this healing, which was demonstrated solely with God’s help and the loving support of a Christian Science practitioner.
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