It was getting dark. Deep in the woods, my team was racing to finish a set of wooden structures that we had to build ourselves as part of an intense, four-day camping trip and capture the flag game. The hot, sweaty, dirty work had gone on for hours, and now the clock was ticking. Fifteen minutes left.
I was cutting a log with a bow saw as fast as I could. When the saw was about halfway through the log, it began to stick. So naturally, I started pushing harder and faster. Suddenly, the saw slipped out of the wood and into my hand, cutting it deeply.
Instantly, I began having negative thoughts. Would I be able to finish the trip? Was I going to let my team down?
After I rinsed off my hand, my counselor and my brother helped me wrap the gash with a bandage. It hurt, but that night I tried to just push through the pain. But the next day as we studied the Christian Science Bible Lesson (found in the Christian Science Quarterly), I realized I had the tools I needed to challenge the validity of the pain and actually find healing. As a Christian Scientist, I knew that this was possible because pain, accidents, and injuries don’t come from God. God, good, creates and causes everything real, and that doesn’t include anything bad or painful.
I read a really helpful passage from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, that says: “Have no fear that matter can ache, swell, and be inflamed as the result of a law of any kind, when it is self-evident that matter can have no pain nor inflammation.” This helped me to recognize how little authority this injury had over my experience, since my actual identity is spiritual and not subject to pain or any adverse effects.
I realized I had the tools I needed to challenge the pain and actually find healing.
The next sentence goes on to say, “Your body would suffer no more from tension or wounds than the trunk of a tree which you gash or the electric wire which you stretch, were it not for mortal mind” (p. 393). I found this very relatable, because I’d cut myself with a saw that I was using to cut the trees, and the trees were not experiencing pain. There seems to be a law that says that I’m subject to pain, while a tree isn’t. But I knew that wasn’t really a law and couldn’t have any jurisdiction over me, because the only real laws are God’s laws of safety, harmony, and health.
I continued to pray with these ideas, trying to understand better that God’s law is a law of freedom, not suffering. I also talked to the Christian Science practitioner who was there at the camp, and she said she would pray for me, too. The Christian Science nurse at the camp helped make sure the cut was clean and properly bandaged.
Merely a few days later, what had seemed to be a deep wound that was preventing me from using my hand even for simple tasks, had healed almost completely, and I was back to participating in all my activities with no trouble whatsoever. A week and a half after the incident, all that was left was a small, barely noticeable mark right below my thumb. It really had healed perfectly.
I was so grateful for this quick healing, because it allowed me to enjoy the rest of my camp experience that year. It also helped me to understand healing through Christian Science better, and now I feel more equipped to pray about things in the future.