A few summers ago, while I was working on a construction...

A few summers ago, while I was working on a construction crew, I received proof of the closeness of God's power and goodness. I was helping another man carry a three-hundred-pound oak beam up a steep ramp. (The ramp was merely a rough-sawn, eight-inch-wide timber, and I was walking backward.) At the top of the ramp I slipped. The oak beam fell full force on my right leg, just above the knee, in such a way that my leg was slammed against a foundation beam. My very first feeling was that I had broken my leg, since I could not move it without intense pain. However, an experience I'd had earlier flashed through my thought.

I was reminded of a time when my initial reaction to a severe situation was one of great fear—fear for my life. This occurred when I was serving with the United States Army in Vietnam and had been shot in the hip by a machine gun. At first I thought I was going to die. However, before the concussion from the bullet had thrown me to the ground, I had reversed my first decision mentally. I quietly declared, "God is my Life." This simple but emphatic affirmation of God's omnipotence kept me from further harm, even though I was caught in a cross fire between the two sides.

When the shooting ceased I was checked over. The machine gun bullet that had knocked me to the ground had ricocheted off my hip, leaving only a bruise. I was grateful, to say the least. (I must add here that during my combat training and Vietnam experiences, I had been closely studying this statement by Mrs. Eddy in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany (pp. 149–150): "Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee." The truth of this statement had been clearly demonstrated in the Vietnam incident.

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May 19, 1986

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