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A healing abroad

From the December 15, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


In the summer of 2013, I went on a service trip with my DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council class (a leadership group for high school students who are Christian Scientists) to Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. We were there to help the community in any way we could. We ended up spending a lot of time playing with the kids at the local school, replacing a family’s dirt floors with cement, making a sidewalk for a soccer field, and building a rock wall along a creek to protect the community’s main water pipe.

A few days into the trip, I started to have headaches. Since we were going to be in Sarapiqui for two weeks, I didn’t want to be limited by any discomfort and miss out on participating in all the good. There was a Christian Science practitioner traveling with us, so I went to her for inspiration and to ask for her help through prayer. 

She reminded me that for every lie mortal mind tries to tell, there is a spiritual truth that corrects that lie. The lie was that I was somehow separate from God, and therefore something could be physically wrong with me. The truth that corrected this thought was that since I am spiritually perfect, created by God in His image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26), there is nothing that can cause me pain. 

As I talked with the practitioner, I realized that I had unconsciously accepted the headaches as something that I was just going to have to deal with until they went away on their own. I also realized that I had been trying to find a reason for my headaches, when, in fact, God, good, is the only cause. My conversation with the practitioner was reminding me that I needed to correct my thought about myself and challenge any lies by recognizing my true perfection.

The practitioner pointed out that I could be subject only to divine power. Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine ‘powers that be’ ” (p. 249). 

I thought about how our group was in Costa Rica to serve a community. We were there for a purely good purpose, which made me remember another quote from Science and Health that my mom had shared with me many times: “Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action” (p. 454). This statement reminded me that a right action can’t be hindered by error. 

These ideas filled me with a peace and confidence that I could go out and express God, divine Love, and not be limited by any kind of discomfort. After about 45 minutes of talking and sharing with the practitioner, I rejoined the group and continued on with the day’s activities, not realizing until about an hour later that I was completely healed of my headaches. I was able to participate fully for the rest of the trip, free of any pain.

I love that even after returning home from the service trip, when an issue comes up, I can always remind myself that an erroneous mental suggestion doesn’t have any power to make me feel less than good. My wholeness and perfection are all that can ever be true about me.

Ellen Duvall
Callaway, Virginia, US

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