Quick recovery from shoulder injury

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, tells us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff,—a broken reed, which pierces the heart” (p. 66). She adds later in the same passage, “Trials are proofs of God’s care.”

It has been through such trials that I have experienced healing and learned to be grateful for the opportunity to grow spiritually. How grateful I am to be able to testify to God’s care and the healing efficacy of Christian Science. Hymn 249 in the Christian Science Hymnal says, in part, 

Our gratitude is riches,
       Complaint is poverty,
Our trials bloom in blessings,
      They test our constancy.
                (Vivian Burnett, © CSBD) 

I saw evidence of these blessings a number of years ago while playing football in high school. Through this sport I learned about teamwork, leadership, self-discipline, and much more. But by far, the largest lesson was how to demonstrate God’s healing power by applying what I understand of Christian Science.

One instance stands out as pivotal, contributing immensely to my spiritual growth. On one particular play during a game, my job was to block the player from the opposing team who was lined up over my left shoulder. I stepped forward to block him. After contact, my shoulder appeared to be dislocated, and I was unable to move my arm. When the play ended, I ran to the sideline, and a substitute went in for me.

The coaches at my high school were Christian Scientists, and when I got off the field, one of them came over to check on me. He was compassionate and supported my desire for healing through prayer; he also saw the injury for what it was—a suggestion that I could be separated from good, God. He said that we were not going to believe this falsehood or accept that I could suffer from or be limited by an accident or injury. 

My coach’s words reminded me of my spiritual identity as God’s reflection and awoke in me great gratitude for being a perfect child of God. The indivisibility of God and His expression, Principle and its idea, meant there could be no separation, displacement, or hopeless situation, no matter what the human circumstances were.

With this affirmation of spiritual truth and heartfelt gratitude, I was completely—and instantly—healed. My shoulder went back into place, and my arm was totally functional. There was no pain and no need to manipulate or recondition any part of the body. I told the coach I was well and was ready and able to go back into the game. 

I played the rest of that game and the remainder of the season without further incident. Two years later, I was playing football in college with the same freedom and joy.

This experience was clear confirmation to me that “trials are proofs of God’s care.”

James Hertlein 
St. Louis, Missouri, US

Testimony of Healing
Healing of deep cut
January 9, 2023

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