‘I am a what?’

Over the summer, I worked as a counselor-in-training at a camp for Christian Scientists. During the first session, it seemed like there was a stomach bug going around—and I was one of the people who got it. 

Besides not feeling well, I was very concerned I wouldn’t be able to be with my campers on their three-day camping trip. 

The Christian Science practitioner at camp was praying for me. One day, as we were sitting together talking, he said, “You are a duck.”

My first thought was: I am a what

He went on to tell me that this was an analogy, because ducks have an oil on their feathers that allows the feathers to repel water. He explained that in a similar way, my spiritual identity “repels” anything ungodlike. The fact that I am spiritual means nothing can touch or harm me.

We also looked at the definition of oil in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration” (p. 592). I could see how qualities like charity and gentleness are part of my spiritual nature and are my defense against suggestions of illness. 

With that recognition, I was soon completely well, and later that day I was able to rejoin my program and participate in the three-day hike with no problems. Since then, whenever I need to remember the way God made me, I always think with a smile: “I am a duck.”

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