Freed from self-condemnation and immobility
When my children were little and I was the soloist at our church, I suddenly began losing weight and felt uncomfortable all over, particularly in my legs. Within a few days, I was unable to walk. A family member who was a Christian Science practitioner had been praying for me, but when the problem didn’t yield, it became clear to her that she needed to help me care for the children so I would be free to pray. I was grateful for her wisdom and called my Christian Science teacher to take over the case.
During our first conversation, it was apparent that I was full of self-condemnation about what I felt I should have done and how much better I felt I should be. I was surprised to discover as a result of this discussion that self-condemnation is self-centered, not God-centered!
This woke me up, and I realized that I had not been listening to God’s voice but to false mental suggestions that I was something other than the perfect child of God. I saw that as God’s spiritual image and likeness I was actually the expression of beautiful qualities and that nothing could stop that expression. Had I continued to believe all the lies I was telling myself, I would not have been open to healing.
With my thinking uplifted, I slept well for the first time in a week. When I woke up the next morning, the positive change was palpable, mentally and physically. I continued to improve daily, and by Sunday I was ready to solo again. I was moving and singing well, though there were brief moments when I struggled with walking. I led the congregation in singing two hymns, but when it was time for me to sing the solo, I could not get up from my seat. I knew I needed to refute this lie, and quickly.
As I prayed, I recalled a moment in an animated film I had recently watched with my children, The Rescuers Down Under. In this scene, a mouse needed to cross a very large desert in a hurry, so he roused a sleeping razorback pig to ask for his help. The pig was quite annoyed and frightening, but the mouse, knowing he had a job to do, went right up to the razorback’s nose, gripped his tusks, and said firmly, “Now look. I’ve got a long way to go. You’re gonna take me there, and you’re not gonna give me any trouble about it, right?” Immediately the razorback agreed to the mouse’s request.
This was one of the most unusual and yet clear messages from God that I have ever received, and it came in an instant. With newfound inspiration, I mentally faced down the lie that I could not stand. Recognizing that God is the only power and that He gave man dominion over all the earth, as the first chapter of the Bible tells us, I said to my legs (silently of course), “You’re going to get me up to solo, and you’re not going to give me any trouble about it!” At that moment I was totally freed from immobility.
This experience was an illustration for me of something Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “. . . How can I heal the body, without beginning with so-called mortal mind, which directly controls the body? . . . Mortal mind is ‘the strong man,’ which must be held in subjection before its influence upon health and morals can be removed” (pp. 399–400).
I am so grateful for Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science, for Christ Jesus’ teachings and example, and for our dear heavenly Father, who always gives us exactly what we need to move forward in every area of life.
Suzanne L. Brown
Oakville, Ontario, Canada