Quick recovery after twisting ankle

Several years ago I was visiting a camp in the mountains of Colorado during a Christmas holiday. While walking in the snow at one point, I suddenly felt and heard a snap in my ankle. At first everything seemed all right, so I continued walking around. After a few hours, though, I decided to retire to my cabin (shared with a few other women) because of the growing discomfort and difficulty walking.

Surrounded by the total darkness and cold of the cabin, I was tempted to feel alone and fearful, and because of the pain, it was difficult to think. All I could do was open my heart completely to God and listen for the comforting messages He had for me.

Suddenly, I heard the voice of a cabin mate, who I had been unaware was also there in her own bunk at the time. She was a Christian Scientist, too, and suggested, unexpectedly, that I ponder the spiritual definition of Church given in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Referring to three synonyms for God, it reads in part, “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle” (p. 583). 

These words were so reassuring to me! I began to consider the spiritual fact that in reality, I was not material, requiring a structure of bones for support; rather, I was God’s, divine Spirit’s, spiritual creation, resting on “the structure of Truth and Love.” This meant I was supported and sustained by the strength and stability of God’s presence and power, and this idea gave me confidence. I was filled with the desire to know myself more as the embodiment of divine Truth and Love, and to let all my words and actions “proceed from divine Principle.” In other words, I made it a goal to express the nature of Church in all I did. Filled with this holy purpose, I soon fell asleep.

The following morning I was scheduled to join a group to go skiing. It was to be my first time to try skiing, and I had been looking forward to it. Though the pain had decreased during the night, the ankle was still almost three times its normal size and completely discolored. Still filled with the conviction from my prayers of the night before, I decided that even if skiing didn’t seem practical, I could join my friends and appreciate the fun they would be having. Whether skiing or not, I could express the qualities of Church. In this way, I would be placing my weight not on the support of an ankle, but on the support of divine Principle, God.

I joined my friends, and while I was watching the activity around me, the same friend who had been in the cabin the night before made a comment. She said that when Moses received God’s direction at the Red Sea to “go forward” with the children of Israel, he didn’t just stick his big toe in to see if the waters would part as God had promised. He confidently went forward, and the waters parted!

I pondered deeply my friend’s comment. I knew the reference she shared comes from the book of Exodus, where it tells of Moses and the children of Israel escaping from captivity and coming upon the Red Sea, with their Egyptian captors close behind. Despite the impossible obstacle it appeared to present, Moses told the people, “Fear . . . not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13). Then God told Moses to tell the children of Israel to “go forward” (verse 15). 

It seems clear to me that the children of Israel had to quiet their fears and have greater courage and conviction in God’s care and protection before they could be ready to rise above the overwhelming evidence of the material senses and do what otherwise would have seemed impossible.

I knew this was the inspiration needed to quiet my own remaining fears and enable me to feel a greater conviction in God’s salvation. And I did so. In that moment, I felt ready to go forward, despite the material picture. 

I knew that going forward based on this courage and conviction was not rash or irresponsible. Science and Health states: “Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause,—wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory” (p. 323). The prayerful work done up until this point had strengthened my faith in and understanding of God and His all-power. I was ready to claim victory! 

Still limping, I went to the rental station for skiing equipment. Once the boots were on, I found that I wasn’t limping as much. I then took the skis and was able to find a small hill where I could experience some simple movements. Even though the activity was modified from what I had initially expected, the real thrill was knowing the demonstration that had been made that day. It may not have been as dramatic as parting the waters of the Red Sea, but it was invaluable proof to me that I could effectively rely on God to meet my needs. 

By the end of that day, my ankle was just about back to its normal size, and I was free of pain. And a day later, I could barely tell there had ever been a problem with it. The healing has been permanent. 

For this healing and the many others I have had in Christian Science, I am deeply grateful.

Stephanie Summerlin
Kirkwood, Missouri, US

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