I was weighing in after wrestling practice when one of my friends pointed out that I had a skin disease—ringworm—on my back. Because it's considered highly contagious, everyone was freaking out. They were all telling me stories about people they knew who'd had it, and how they'd been out of the wrestling season for a month. My coach told me I wouldn't be able to wrestle for at least a couple weeks, and that I'd have to go to the doctor to get treated. I started to become really scared. I didn't want to miss any practice or tournaments.
When I got home, I talked with my mom about it, and we decided I should call a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me. It was great, because even when I told him everything that was wrong, he was still totally calm. And he told me a story that was really helpful—about a guy who was on a navy submarine when he suddenly got a bad case of poison ivy. The thing is, the guy hadn't been anywhere near poison ivy—he'd just heard about someone who'd gotten it and what some of the symptoms were. This guy was a Christian Scientist, and as he started to pray about the poison ivy, he realized that all he was dealing with was a belief, a mistaken idea about what God created.
In Genesis, chapter one, it says that God created everything good. So where is there room for disease in that creation? Nowhere. God's creation is 100 percent good, like God. Any belief of bad, then, including disease, is just that—a belief, an error, a mental suggestion. As soon as the guy on the submarine understood that, he saw that the belief couldn't have any power over him, and the poison ivy symptoms went away faster than they'd appeared.
It really hit me that as soon as I tapped into what God was knowing—instead of buying into fear—I would realize the powerlessness of the disease and be healed.
What was cool about this story was that it made me realize that disease really is just a belief. It may seem real and substantial, but the moment you see that it has no place in God's creation, there's no place for it to exist. It can't have any hold on your thought, any power to make you afraid, because all that's real to you is God and His complete goodness.
The practitioner also reminded me of a passage from Science and Health where Mary Baker Eddy talked about contagion. She wrote: "We weep because others weep, we yawn because they yawn, and we have smallpox because others have it; but mortal mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. When this mental contagion is understood, we shall be more careful of our mental conditions, and we shall avoid loquacious tattling about disease, as we would avoid advocating crime. Neither sympathy nor society should ever tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error's advocate." Science and Health, pp. 153–154.
After I got off the phone with the practitioner, I kept thinking about that idea—that contagion has no power whatsoever, because God is divine Mind and this Mind knows only what it made. It really hit me that as soon as I tapped into what that Mind was knowing—instead of listening to my own thoughts about the situation or buying into fear or what my teammates were saying—that was when I would realize the nothingness and powerlessness of the disease and be healed.
That night, I thought about what was real (God, His Allness and goodness) and what wasn't (the disease). I knew that God didn't make everything, see that it was good, and then say, "Oh, well, everything is good except Tim." And so whenever I started getting afraid that I wouldn't be able to wrestle or that the condition wouldn't clear up, I just went back to those ideas—knowing what was true about God and understanding the way He made me. I knew that nothing could change my perfection, and pretty soon I felt calm enough to fall asleep.
The next day I went to practice and everyone wanted to know what I was doing there. And when I showed my coach my back, he was amazed. The ringworm was almost completely gone—he could barely see it. He still asked me to sit out that day, but by the next day it was completely gone and I was back wrestling.
This healing was just so cool to me because it showed me how fast and effective Christian Science truly is. And it proved that as soon as you really know that God is all-powerful and that disease can never have any power over you, that's it. The disease? It's history.
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