Broken bone healed
I would like to share a testimony of physical healing from the period of lockdown in the United Kingdom in the spring of 2020. My daughter and I were categorized as a shielded household, which meant we could not have visitors or go outdoors, not even to the shops, until the restrictions began to ease.
While running one last errand ahead of the lockdown, I tripped while crossing the road and landed facedown, first on a parked car and then on the curb. Within seconds I was surrounded by people offering kindness and practical help. An ambulance arrived very quickly, and I was taken to a nearby hospital that specializes in broken bones. After an X-ray had been taken, I was told I had several complex fractures in my shoulder that would probably need corrective surgery, but they didn’t want to admit me to the ward during a pandemic. I was also told that if it did heal without intervention, it could take up to a year before I had full movement and strength. With those words, I was sent home.
Normally, in situations like this my first instinct would be to reach out to a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me for healing. But as I was considering this, I felt I didn’t need to. I realized that I was in the ideal atmosphere for healing: My home was a sanctuary of peace, calm, and all-embracing love. There would be no intrusions, because of our shielding situation, and this could only enable, not hinder, my progress. It almost felt as if we were in Noah’s ark—protected, shielded, and safe. When the “flood” passed, we would emerge stronger, wiser, purer, and closer to God.
So I spent this time in our “ark” in deep prayer and study. I prayed not just about a broken bone, but about all the aspects of life I felt could be improved upon.
Referencing Jesus’ instructions to his disciples regarding how to pray, Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must ‘pray without ceasing.’ Such prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice. The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity” (p. 15).
I used this time to look for opportunities to be a better friend; a better parent and grandparent; a better neighbor, church member, and professional.
In the Bible, at the end of the story of Noah’s ark, God says, “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13). Very slowly, I began to witness that promise for myself in the physical progress I was making. After three weeks of sleeping in an armchair, I was able to move back into my own bed and sleep comfortably all night.
After five weeks of not having a gardener to attend to the garden I share with neighbors, I decided I would do my bit to help, and I cut our lawns regularly until lockdown restrictions lifted and our gardener returned.
One of many blessings during this time was the online church services that our branch church quickly organized to replace our normal in-church services. These became the highlight of my week. A testifier during a Wednesday evening meeting shared a quote from a Christian Science periodical explaining the need for stillness in order for healing to take place. This confirmed to me that our shielded, peaceful home was giving me the quiet that was conducive to healing.
Each week I received telephone calls from a consultant at the hospital, who asked me to describe how I was. I was always able to report progress, and the calls always ended with the consultant saying, “Well, you do seem to be doing remarkably well!”
After 12 weeks, I was told that a second X-ray would be required to monitor healing of the fractures. The new X-ray showed a perfectly healed, normal-looking bone. I was told by the consultant that I had made a really good job of breaking the bone, but that I had made an even better job of mending it, and there was no need for any further appointments.
I’m so grateful for this wonderful reminder of God’s healing power; for membership in branch Churches of Christ, Scientist, over the years and the enduring friendships there; for the grounding received by attending a Christian Science Sunday School up to the age of twenty; and for the opportunity to attend the International Youth Meeting at The Mother Church in Boston in 1974.
Bournemouth, Dorset, England