“I knew I was healed”
I was having a relaxing day on the beach in Utah’s beautiful Desolation Canyon during a river rafting trip with a group of young Christian Scientists. My friends and I were playing in the eddy that led up to our beach from the river. When dinner was called, we all ran up to the shore. As I sloshed through the murky water, I felt a sharp pain in the bottom of my foot. When I got to the shore, I discovered that my foot had been punctured by a sharp stick, leaving a deep hole. Fear swept over me. As a competitive dancer, I rushed to the irrational conclusion that I would never dance again. This made me even more afraid.
Because this was a trip with other Christian Scientists, a Christian Science practitioner had accompanied us and was available to pray about anything that came up during our adventures. When one of the trip leaders noticed I was in pain and couldn’t walk, he picked me up and carried me over to the practitioner. The other trip leader immediately began tending to my foot, cleaning and bandaging the wound.
Fear swept over me.
While my foot was being wrapped, the practitioner shared Hymn 139 from the Christian Science Hymnal with me. One verse says:
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.
(Minny M. H. Ayers, adapt. © CSBD)
This hymn reminded me that I am always walking with God, who is Love, so there was no need to listen to the fear that was telling me I wouldn’t be able to walk or dance. The hymn also helped me feel God’s presence, and I was comforted knowing that I was loved. Another idea the practitioner shared was that this fear that was consuming me was only claiming to obscure what was spiritually true about me and about God, and she encouraged me to be still and listen to God instead.
As I did, I came to the realization that what I was seeing and feeling physically, even though it seemed scary and real, couldn’t actually be the truth about my experience. As the perfect reflection of God, I couldn’t be hurt or injured because Love’s image can only include love and joy. I knew right then that I would be able to walk, dance, and do everything else I love to do.
After my foot had been tended to, I joined my friends at dinner around a campfire. I was still limping, but when I went back to my tent that night and prayed with the ideas the practitioner had shared with me, I started to feel better.
The next morning, we woke up early to hike up to the top of a canyon, where we were planning to read the Sermon on the Mount from the book of Matthew in the Bible. The thought of hiking made me afraid again, but I reminded myself that I walk with Love, and as God’s reflection, I could do whatever I needed to.
As we started the hike, I really felt God’s presence and began to feel confident in the ideas I had been praying with. Reading the Sermon on the Mount at the top of the canyon helped me understand even more deeply that I am completely spiritual, God’s image and likeness. We watched the sun rise over the gorgeous canyon, and from that moment, I knew I was healed. Although early on in the hike I had been using a walking stick, by the time we started back, I was practically running, and was able to keep up with my friends the whole time. All the fear had dissipated.
I really felt God’s presence and began to feel confident in the ideas I had been praying with.
I will never forget the beautiful sights I saw on this trip. But most of all, I will never forget this healing and what I learned about trusting God and feeling Love’s presence.