Injured ankle restored
While on holiday two years ago, I played badminton in the village hall. As I ran backward to reach a shot, I fell heavily with my foot twisted under me.
My fellow players expressed much concern as I struggled to get to a chair and sit down. Eventually, with the kind assistance of another player, I was able to hobble back to our rented cottage. My wife helped me to negotiate the steep stairs and get ready for bed. The ankle was very tender, and pain woke me often during the night.
As a student of Christian Science, I wanted to heal the injury through prayer. I endeavored to turn my thought to truths I had learned about the infinite goodness of God and His creation. However, fear assailed me because of the dire predictions my fellow players had made about how long it might take to recover—weeks, or even months. One had even remarked that the ankle might be quicker to mend if I’d broken it.
The next morning I was feeling frustrated and disappointed that this had happened on the second day of our annual holiday. I soon realized I needed to do two things: call a Christian Science practitioner for metaphysical treatment and start expressing more gratitude and patience.
I spent most of the day resting my foot and reading the Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly and articles from the Sentinel. The owners of the cottage kindly offered me some walking sticks, two of which I used to hobble over to a nearby field where there was sufficient phone signal to call a practitioner.
It wasn’t long into the conversation before the practitioner discerned that I had a negative view of myself as unworthy. She encouraged me to see myself as the “gorgeous” reflection of God, Spirit, forever untouched by material circumstances. I have to admit I found this difficult to accept. It seemed so immodest! She also asked me to review each day’s events to replace any thoughts of unworthiness with the facts regarding my true identity as God’s beloved child, and to use every opportunity to be grateful and to glorify God.
The following day I was able to get around with the help of a single walking stick, and by the day after, I could walk unaided, though still with some discomfort. Working with the ideas shared by the practitioner, I felt more peace and patience as well as an appreciation of our beautiful location. Shortly, I felt able and willing to play badminton again, which I did with minimal restriction of movement.
Toward the end of the second week, our son, who had been staying in student accommodations in London, joined us. He and I have always preferred being active to relaxing, so although I was pleased to see him, I was also a little apprehensive on his arrival. I thought about something Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “When an accident happens, you think or exclaim, ‘I am hurt!’ Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.
“Now reverse the process. Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be” (p. 397).
I also worked on negating and destroying the notion that I was unworthy, unlovable, or anything other than God’s loved and loving expression.
One day during my son’s visit, we hired kayaks and paddled along the rocky coast exploring remote areas. The next day we rode waves on body boards. To get to the beach, we had to walk down a long, steep path, followed by 155 steep and uneven steps. (I counted them on the way up!) But there was no more pain in my foot, and the residual swelling and bruising were nearly gone.
After seeing our son off on his coach back to London, we made the three-hour drive home. The following weekend, I drove up to Wales, an eight-hour journey, with another son and his family. We all climbed Mount Snowdon, the second-highest mountain in the United Kingdom. There was no discomfort or inflexibility during this joyous climb, nor were there any negative aftereffects; it was just a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a weekend with family members I rarely get to spend time with.
I had written out the words to a hymn that I’d been referring to during this time of healing. It is by Minny M. H. Ayers, and begins:
I walk with Love along the way,
And O, it is a holy day;
No more I suffer cruel fear,
I feel God’s presence with me here;
The joy that none can take away
Is mine; I walk with Love today.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 139, adapt. © CSBD)
I am so grateful for this demonstration of God’s healing love, and for the lesson to not let any suggestion of unworthiness into my thinking. I’m also grateful for the dear practitioner’s perceptiveness and prayer.
Brian P. Roberts
Bournemouth, Dorset, England