I attended a high school in Colorado that had a focus on Christian Science and outdoor education. During my three years there, I grew spiritually and learned to understand God and my relation to Him. I also learned to snowboard, and went from being a beginner to feeling comfortable with more difficult runs.
One afternoon, the school went to a large recreation area for skiing and snowboarding. My favorite run was full of curves, hills, little mounds, jumps, and a lot of trees. It was like going through an obstacle course and a maze all in one.
It was very cold that day, and snow started to fall hard as I went up the chairlift with a friend. When we reached the top, we strapped on our snowboards and headed down. Partway down, we decided to try going off a jump hidden among the trees. We didn’t know there was a sheet of ice covered with snow in front of the jump.
My friend went first and made the jump OK. But as I was landing my jump, the edge of my snowboard caught the ice. I went head over heels down the hill and into the wooded area of the mountain. My friend had already disappeared into the snowstorm, so I was alone. I realized that I couldn’t free myself—I could only move my head and right arm. The rest of my body was buried in the snow. I was badly shaken up and could feel that I was twisted under the snow.
As I lay in the snow for what seemed like a long time, I had to fight being scared. I worked to calm my thoughts and asked God what to do. All of a sudden I got a clear thought to start digging. I was stunned at this message—I only had one arm free and could barely move! Again the message came to dig.
I knew this message was from God because it was strong and comforting and helped me know I wasn’t really alone. So I was obedient. Sure enough, little by little, I was able to free myself and crawl out from under the snow and from among the trees.
Snow was still falling heavily. I knew I had to snowboard down the rest of the mountain—there was no path for walking. Since I was feeling a lot of discomfort, I thought about lines from a hymn I love: “No more I suffer cruel fear, / I feel God’s presence with me here” (Minny M. H. Ayers, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 139, adapt. © CSBD). Thinking about this helped me not to be afraid as I made my way through the snowstorm.
When I reached the bottom of the mountain, I told my school director what had happened. As we walked to the car, he reminded me that I was a child of God—perfect, spiritual, and free. I thought about these ideas during the car ride back to school while my fellow classmates talked about their day on the slopes. I was in my own little world of prayer, affirming the spiritual facts that there were no accidents in God’s creation, and that I could never feel out of His care. Mary Baker Eddy explains it this way: “Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 424).
When we arrived back at school, I was able to make it up to my room and change into comfortable clothes. Climbing up on my bed, I got out my copies of the Bible and Science and Health. From the Bible, I read Christ Jesus’ healing of the woman who was bent over (see Luke 13:11–13). I knew that Jesus was able to heal her because he was so clear that her identity was spiritual and whole, not material and subject to pain and limitation. I thought about how I could be healed just as she had been because the same healing Christ that Jesus expressed was right there with me, showing me my own spiritual perfection.
I went to sleep that night singing Hymn 139 to myself. I was definitely feeling more peaceful, and I expected to be healed.
The next morning I woke up with no discomfort or pain, and was able to move freely. I was completely healed. To this day, snowboarding is still one of my favorite sports!
Brookline, Massachusetts, US
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