I WAS OUT for my usual morning walk, praying as I went along, when suddenly, I tripped over a large bump in the sidewalk and fell very hard on my side.
The first thing that came to me was to say aloud, "God is Life." But I found I could hardly breathe. Although I was afraid, I thought, Be quiet, be still. So, I lay still on the street for several seconds, until my breathing normalized. I silently affirmed that God is my Life and the source of my health. And after resting for a bit, I felt well enough to get up and continue my walk.
As the day wore on, though, I found I was having a hard time moving. It seemed I'd hurt my ribs rather badly. That evening, as I studied and prayed, I found it very difficult to concentrate because of the pain. So I decided to call a Christian Science practitioner to pray along with me. I felt confident relying on prayer for healing because it had been effective for me in the past. And sure enough, I felt much better over the next couple of days—so much better that I decided at one point to walk to some nearby foothills and watch the sunset.
I was full of joy and gratitude to be able to complete the walk, but when I got home, I again felt a lot of pain and discomfort in my ribs. In my prayers, I had been trying not to ruminate over the events of the accident, and instead to see clearly the spiritual fact that no part of me could be injured—that I could never be anything other than the full and perfect expression of God.
A few nights later, I again found it difficult to concentrate on my study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings. But I'd been giving a lot of thought to persistence in prayer. Although I'd never been very persistent in the past, I decided this was the time to change that.
I had learned when I took Christian Science class instruction how important it is to listen when you pray—listen until you hear what God has to say. So I asked God what I should do. I was surprised by the idea I got—to get out and go for a walk! Even though it was 9:30 at night, I put on my walking shoes and headed to the local shopping center. When I got there, I sat down to rest on a curb in the parking lot. Closing my eyes, I again listened to hear what God wanted for me. And at that moment, I suddenly felt incredibly uplifted and filled with God's love. The pain and discomfort I'd been feeling seemed very distant.
When I opened my eyes, I noticed that shopping carts were scattered all over the parking lot—a picture that didn't seem to fit with my uplifted thought. So I decided to put into action the incredible love I was feeling and clean them up, which I was able to do without any discomfort. Eventually a store employee came outside to collect the carts. I helped him complete the task, and when we'd finished, he thanked me.
I knew that the lesson for the evening was listening and obeying. And I also knew that healing had occurred, because of the way I was feeling—I was so filled with love for everyone and everything. I felt a joy that I had never felt before. The next day, I was back to swimming and walking as usual, without any pain at all.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, US
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Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.
— Mary Baker Eddy