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Care for the caregiver

From the August 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I HAD HURT MY ANKLE and had to treat it gently. But, for a few days, I was very casual in my prayer about it—perhaps thinking I would "walk it off." Then one evening, the ankle sustained a considerable jolt. It was very painful, and I found walking to be very difficult.

My husband is in a wheelchair, and I am his sole means of transportation. Pushing a wheelchair requires a lot of walking backwards—which was now almost impossible.

Two things were immediately apparent: I needed to be able to walk in order to carry on with my duties, and I needed some support in prayer. So I called a Christian Science practitioner, who instantly helped me to see that I am God's reflection, one of His spiritual ideas, and that meant I could never sustain an injury of any sort. The practitioner assured me that God was my support and strength; that nothing out of sync could happen under His government; and that God, who is divine Love, would never cause anything to prevent me from caring for a dear one.

I was reminded of a story I had read in that week's Bible Lesson (found in the Christian Science Quarterly). It talked about the "King," who said that doing good works for even the least of the King's brethren was the same as doing those good works for him personally (see Matt. 25:31–40). As I pondered this, my thoughts became less self-oriented and more selfless. I realized I needn't fret. God would care for my husband and for me. I became completely confident that divine Principle, God—the source and power and control of all—was in operation, and that I could do anything Love required of me. With Principle operating, there could be no chaos or disruption of good. I resolved to hold to the thought of God's complete ability to care for His universe, including my husband and me.

I told myself, "I'm going to stand on Principle," and went directly about my chores for the evening. The thought of pain simply evaporated. I had recognized it as a lie about myself, and I neither argued with it nor spent any time considering it. When I was called to help my husband during the night, I was able to go about my tasks freely, and when I woke up the next morning, my first thought was of absolute freedom, even before I moved and verified that there was, indeed, no pain. I was able to stand and walk normally.

While caring for my husband, I have learned to be very grateful for the uplifting presence of joy and peace, and for the spiritual inspiration that can destroy any sense of heaviness or burden.

In addition to this healing, I have had many proofs of Love's care for me, including healings of strep throat and an internal growth, financial provision in time of need, and, especially, the blessings of loving relationships. Thank you, Father.

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