Handyman’s complete recovery after fall
Our family had just moved, and I was anxious to get started on my handyman business. Members of my branch church had encouraged me, and I was off and running with several of them as clients.
A few months into my work, I was at a client’s home on a cold winter day shortly after Christmas, ready to install a new weather station on the roof while they were away. Snow had been predicted, but when I started, it was only partly cloudy. The roof was steeply pitched, except for the portion over the garage, which was flat.
As I moved down from the peak of the roof, the drop from where I was to the flat section looked to me to be about three feet (it was actually closer to nine). I stepped off with a tool bag in one hand and leftover parts in the other and fell hard onto the garage roof.
The next thing I remember is waking up very cold, lying on my back. I must have lost consciousness for a time. Snow was hitting me in the face, and I was unable to move. I remember saying aloud, “It ain’t so!” (When I was growing up, this was usually the first thing my mother said when we were confronting challenges and praying about them.) I also remember thinking that there are no accidents in God’s kingdom, which is a concept from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (see p. 424).
There were many things running through my head, but I tried to stay focused on knowing I was God’s loved child. I was attempting to move around and get to where I could use my phone to call a Christian Science practitioner, and in doing so I found it very difficult to breathe. Fear began to set in.
It took me several attempts to locate my phone and make the call, but as soon as I heard the practitioner’s voice, the fear began to leave. I explained my situation, and he immediately let me know that I can never be separated from God because God is with me all the time. I asked him to stay on the phone for a few minutes, as there was a lot of the comfort of divine Love being expressed, and it warmed me. I knew that this was God’s ever-presence surrounding me with the warmth of Love.
It took me a while to get down off the roof, lock the house, and get to my truck. There were many thoughts trying to capture my attention, such as “This appears to be broken,” and “That looks like it is swelling up,” and “Nobody knows where you are.” All of these suggestions were handled by one thought: to turn this nonevent over to God and let Him work out the details. I knew I needed to be grateful, because every step forward was a step out of fear and pain and into realizing God’s care, custody, and control.
With God’s help, I got into the truck. At one point, two things from my Christian Science Sunday School years came to mind. One was part of a poem by Mrs. Eddy that has several settings in the Christian Science Hymnal:
Shepherd, show me how to go
O’er the hillside steep,
. . . . .
I will listen for Thy voice,
Lest my footsteps stray;
I will follow and rejoice
All the rugged way.
(“ ‘Feed My Sheep,’ ” Poems, p. 14)
The other concept that helped was that God guides, guards, and governs me. Despite the pain, I felt able to drive home.
Once safely at home, I began to warm up even more, and I knew that God had been with me every step of the way. After I had gotten out of all my winter gear and was settled, I recontacted the practitioner, and we reaffirmed the spiritual ideas we’d been discussing. He also reminded me of the concept “perfect God and perfect man,” meaning that God, Spirit, is perfect, and since I am His reflection, I had to be whole and perfect, too. That was a very important statement for me because the physical picture seemed so real; it appeared I had a couple of injured ribs and a sprained wrist. But I continued to pray with the assurance of God’s care. By the end of the week, I was resuming my normal activities with no aftereffects.
I am grateful for Mrs. Eddy and her discovery of Christian Science, and for Christian Science practitioners, whose selflessness and inspiration in the healing practice is so lovingly expressed. I am also grateful to all of my Sunday School teachers for their role in forming the foundation for a good, solid understanding of Christian Science and its practice.
John Van Patten
St. Xavier, Montana, US