Pain-free mobility restored
Early in my marriage and after I became a mother, I suffered debilitating back issues for a few weeks at a time. Sometimes I stayed in bed, but my children needed attention, so when my husband wasn’t available, I would move with slow steps and a ramrod-straight back to care for them, even though I was in pain.
When this first happened, it became a time of great spiritual growth for me. I daily studied the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and the weekly Bible Lessons from the Christian Science Quarterly—all of which offered great support and inspiration. I was impressed by the dedication and perseverance of the many people in the Bible who overcame adversity. I strove to be as faithful as they were and to express joy, grace, and love at all times. In a few weeks, I was able to move around freely without pain.
When it happened the second time, shortly after my second child was born, I memorized helpful citations from the Bible and Science and Health. One of my favorites was, “All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal” from page 151 of Science and Health. This helped me understand that there is nothing outside of the infinite Mind—God—to know or to conceive. The concept of myself as hurt or having difficulty moving was not my true identity. I saw that this false concept was part of a belief that I am material and that there is substance in matter; it was also a suggestion that I could somehow be outside the perception of infinite Mind.
As I continued to study the Bible Lessons, I became particularly interested in the story of the fig tree as told in Matthew 21:19–22. In a city where he had been teaching and preaching with his disciples, Jesus went out one morning to look for food. He approached a fig tree expecting to find ripe fruit, but all he found was leaves. Jesus caused the tree to wither away with this strong rebuke: “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.”
When I first read this story, I couldn’t understand why Jesus rebuked the barren fig tree instead of healing it. This was a conundrum for me until I realized that Jesus was uprooting and eradicating the false concept of something unfruitful in God’s kingdom. Jesus was rejecting the supposition that God could be expressed through anything other than perfection. A perfect, fruit-bearing fig tree was all that could truly exist. When Jesus wiped out the lie, the false concept of unfruitfulness, this falsehood had no more voice, and the fig tree could only wither away.
At some point I realized that to follow Jesus meant to let God’s allness uproot the lie of pain and debilitation. Just as Jesus accepted the fruitful idea of a fig tree as the only kind of fig tree, I learned to say no to fear and anxiety that I might become permanently disabled, and yes to the spiritual and perfect idea of me as the only me. I would often say to myself about this ailment, “This is a false belief that shall nevermore have a lie to express.” As I grew to realize that God, good, is supreme, governing all of His formations, my thoughts shifted away from the ailment to the recognition that I am loved, spiritual, and complete—the way God made and maintains me.
This new sense of my identity enabled me to walk and move freely and normally, without pain, and to fulfill my role as an active mother. I no longer dwelt on a personal sense of myself. And I moved forward with gratitude and love.
It has been over 25 years since I was healed, and I have never again suffered debilitating back issues.
Emily Mayer Kendrick
Acton, Massachusetts, US