Recovery from mobility issues
As I left school one Monday afternoon, I found I needed to walk more slowly than usual. My knee felt stiff. When I got home, I began to pray—to listen to what the Christ, the healing message of God’s presence and power, was telling me. Because all that God creates—including me—is the reflection and expression of Spirit, I knew that matter could not be the source of my being. And I wanted to recognize that nothing could interfere with God’s harmonious government of me because God is the only power.
I was tempted to be discouraged because of the teaching workload I was facing that week. But while I was praying, the assurance came that God was taking care of me. I requested a substitute teacher for the next couple of days, as I was now having trouble walking on my own. I wanted to listen uninterrupted to what Christian Science was revealing to me about my true identity.
The quiet time was really helpful. My husband was giving me practical support, for which I was grateful, and I also called a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me. She reminded me that if in a dream you climb a tree and fall, when you awake you will find you are not hurt because it never actually happened.
I was also tempted to worry about missing two tutoring appointments—that the lack of income would make it hard to pay our bills later that month. But I realized that this collection of fears was just a suggestion that Love, another name for God, was not able to care for me and my family. I knew that I needed to see what was true about both God and me, and that it was Love’s power, divine Truth in action, that would move me forward, mentally and physically, until I could see that I had never been separated from God by a belief of life in matter.
Two days later, with the support of a cane, I was able to move around the house, and even down the stairs, with little pain. I knew that my desire to love Truth, God, with my whole heart and be obedient to divine Love included accepting only what was true about my identity—that I live, move, and have my being in God. I knew that because God is All, there can be no competing reality.
Mary Baker Eddy explains in the Christian Science textbook: “We cannot ‘serve two masters.’ To be ‘present with the Lord’ is to have, not mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demonstration and understanding of Life as revealed in Christian Science. To be ‘with the Lord’ is to be in obedience to the law of God, to be absolutely governed by divine Love,—by Spirit, not by matter” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 14).
I knew, too, that to be in obedience to God’s law, I must consciously express love.
That afternoon I was able to meet with a student for tutoring. I realized that I needed to reject something I had unconsciously accepted about him—that his thought was disturbed and rigid, even unmovable—and to affirm that all God’s children reflect the harmony of divine Mind, God. We were able to accomplish what we needed to during our session, and I was inspired to embrace this idea of flexibility and unlabored movement for both of us.
That night I attended the Wednesday testimony meeting at church, and the next day I taught all my classes. The following night, a decision that the teachers had made at school the week before—to dress up for Halloween as “really old people with canes”—came to mind. I was impelled by Love to email the other teachers and explain that to portray older people as having mobility issues would be to present a stereotype. The other teachers were supportive. In fact, two members of the team wrote back that evening, thanking me for seeing the mistake and for suggesting a different option. One said that she’d been troubled by the idea but couldn’t identify why. We moved forward with a different costume concept.
While I brought a cane to school on Friday, I never used it. That afternoon I again worked with the tutoring student. He responded beautifully, and we accomplished a tremendous amount of work.
The following week I was walking and climbing stairs, in heels, with no difficulty at all. I am grateful to bear witness to God’s grace, which transformed my thought to see divine Love being expressed in such practical ways.
Elisabeth Anetta Schwartz
Andover, Massachusetts, US