In the summer of 1991, I played Kate in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew...

In the summer of 1991, I played Kate in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew—quite a physically demanding role. After the first weekend of performances, I felt a stiffening in my neck until it became very painful to move my head at all. I knew I had to perform again in three days, and I didn't have an understudy to step in for me. At the time, a rather looming fear was the thought of being onstage in great pain, and not being able to have the freedom of movement to perform my role.

I called a Christian Science practitioner, who began steadfast prayer for me. Sometimes we talked hourly by phone. She suggested that I pray to understand that pain had no cause; that it wasn't caused by overexertion, exercise, strain, and so forth, because God is the only cause and creator, and man is perfect as God's reflection. She also reassured me that it was right for me to be able to perform my role because I was glorifying God; therefore, I was always safe in His loving care.

Indeed, I was onstage playing the role in three days, and I felt no pain while performing. I knew that God was giving "his angels charge over" me (Ps. 11). However, I still felt pain when I was offstage. I was reminded of the account in Science and Health of "a noted actor"; there was a similarity in our experiences in that, like him, I was able to overcome the difficulty while in front of an audience. The point of this account is that when the human mind is not conscious of painful thoughts, the body cannot experience pain (see p. 261).

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
October 18, 1993

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.