Overnight healing of an injured shoulder
I’d been looking forward to the lacrosse college showcase for weeks. Coaches from many colleges would be there, evaluating our skill sets and teaching us the intricacies of the game. I was excited to learn from these coaches and, potentially, to be recruited.
The night before the showcase, I was outside with friends. While playing hide and seek in the dark, I tripped and fell on my shoulder. When I stood up, I realized my shoulder was dislocated. I couldn’t move it, and it hurt a lot. At first, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to play in my tournament the next day. Also, I worried that my parents would be angry with me for being irresponsible.
But then I remembered what my Christian Science Sunday School teacher had told me about fear—that we can challenge it on the basis of God’s goodness and all-power. Even though fear can feel powerful and even overwhelming, it is actually powerless, since God has all the power. My teacher had stressed the fact that healing begins with allaying fear (see Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 411). I’ve found that knowing God helps me get rid of fear and pray more calmly. With this in mind, I began to address the fear by reassuring myself that there was no way I could be out of God’s care at any time, since God is everywhere and always caring for me.
I called my dad, and we discussed what steps I should take to work through the healing of my shoulder. We agreed that my healing should begin and end with prayer, but we were also aware of the option that Mrs. Eddy noted in Science and Health of choosing to have bones set (see p. 401). We decided to go to the emergency room to have my shoulder put back in place, but with the full expectation that we would be relying on prayer for healing before, during, and after this procedure.
The doctor who adjusted my shoulder recommended that I keep my arm in a sling for a few weeks and take painkillers regularly for the next few days. Since I wanted to rely on Christian Science to experience healing, I knew I needed to make a decision: take the painkillers or rely on prayer. It wouldn’t make sense to do both—the two methods approach healing from two completely different standpoints. Prayer in Christian Science involves reasoning from a spiritual basis, identifying ourselves as spiritual.
As soon as I got home, I removed the sling and opened up Science and Health. I had experienced healing through prayer before, but usually with the close help of my parents and/or a Christian Science practitioner. This was the first time I decided to rely completely on my own prayer, and I can attribute my confidence in this prayer to all that I’ve learned in the last few years of Sunday School.
While hopping between passages in Science and Health, I found something particularly helpful in the chapter “Christian Science Practice”: “In Science, no breakage nor dislocation can really occur. You say that accidents, injuries, and disease kill man, but this is not true. The life of man is Mind. The material body manifests only what mortal mind believes, whether it be a broken bone, disease, or sin” (p. 402).
This idea was directly applicable to my situation, and I was comforted by the fact that the divine Mind, God, is the only power in my experience at all times. For the rest of the evening I held on to this idea, along with other good thoughts from God, while actively denying any suggestion that pain or fear was real. I asserted that my thoughts can come only from God and that I am spiritual and uninjured; I didn’t have to give in to the false, material picture of myself as injured. I felt surprisingly calm. Understanding that passage from Science and Health and deliberately affirming the truth of it in my own experience destroyed the fear.
The next morning, I woke up feeling great, able to move my shoulder freely and normally. The healing was complete, and I played in the tournament that weekend without any discomfort or limitations. With the same truths in mind as the night before, I spent the day joyfully glorifying God and knowing that I express His goodness. That weekend and the whole season the following spring, I never had any trouble with my shoulder.
This experience has given me more confidence to rely on Christian Science in every area of my life. It has given me my bearings in understanding how to heal and helped me make Christian Science practical for myself.