Back to dancing again
For a few months in the autumn of 2019, I participated in some fairly strenuous dance classes that I really enjoyed. But at one point after this, out of the blue, I could not put my full weight on one of my feet or walk very quickly.
While this did not seem very noticeable to others, I was very aware of it and feared that I would never be able to walk or dance normally again. So, I called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me. When I mentioned my fear, he encouraged me to claim my present wholeness as an idea of God and not to see myself as burdened with a problem needing to be fixed.
Soon, although it didn’t seem to make much sense given the situation, I felt inspired to proceed with a plan to spend a day in New York City. Despite each step being fairly uncomfortable, I caught a train the next morning before dawn and walked all over the city, about nine miles total. This did not feel like stubbornness, but instead felt freeing and strengthening. I’d felt impelled to move forward in expectation of healing.
While there, I attended a Wednesday testimony meeting in a Christian Science church, and the readings, which were from the Bible and from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, actually included some references to walking. One was this passage: “Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models.
“To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way” (Science and Health, p. 248 ).
I resolved to keep my gaze on where God was leading rather than on ways of thinking that would “limit [my] life-work.” It occurred to me that I had been wondering whether the hobby of dancing was taking too much of my focus. Eventually, my priorities did shift, and I didn’t feel the need to dance as frequently. But I also felt that dancing was an important part of my spiritual growth, providing social interaction and fellowship with others. I was striving to see that I had never been divided from God and that there could be no division in my focus on serving God. I could serve God while dancing as well as while participating in church and my public healing practice of Christian Science.
I was also having some inspiring thoughts about church after the uplifting experience of attending a Christian Science summit sponsored by The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. A number of the attendees had shared helpful thoughts about how they were relating to church. And around that time, the Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly included the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man (see Mark 2:3–12 ). I saw the need to be freed from the paralyzing belief that the foot difficulty was somehow “punishment” for enjoying my dance classes too much! I saw that I could release that belief and truly “arise . . . and walk.” I also recognized that Church can’t be paralyzed by the “sins” of being unwelcoming or uncommitted to its healing mission; these things could really never touch true Church. Though my walking still didn’t seem totally normal, I did sense progress and felt prayerful momentum.
Within a week or so of these insights, I was back to walking, jogging, and dancing normally. It was a bit tentative at first, but soon there was no trace of the problem. I completed demanding dance rehearsals and enjoyed performing a rigorous routine a few months later. It was humbling to be reminded of the power of seeing ourselves as entirely spiritual, with no origin apart from God, Spirit. While I’m not dancing quite as regularly these days, I feel joy when I think of this example of God’s healing power.
San Diego, California, US