Love knows no evil, neither shade of sadness;
Love casts out every fear, lifts the heart to gladness.
Love heals our every ill,
All the law does love fulfill.
Love is our answered prayer.
—Christian Science Hymnal, No. 179
Two summers ago I went to a Christian Science summer camp in Colorado. On one of my first days there, we had to take a swimming test in the lake. I was a little apprehensive, not fully trusting my ability to swim in the cold water. I prayed together with a group of friends at camp to know we wouldn’t be separate from God’s warmth and love, but my thoughts were still fearful.
At the start of the test, we plunged into the water. I was able to struggle through the test, but I felt weak and out of breath as I swam. I needed help getting the last few feet back to shore.
When I got out of the water, my quick breathing didn’t slow. Accompanied by a friend, I made my way back to my cabin, as I had been planning to quickly change and get in a van to go mountain biking. In my cabin, I felt weak and had trouble seeing and breathing. I started to panic, not knowing what was happening to me. I couldn’t calm myself down. I decided to go to see the camp practitioner, the Christian Science practitioner who is always available to prayerfully support all the campers.
I didn’t need to wait or hope to feel a sense of perfect harmony —I could claim it right now.
On my way to see her, I stumbled a few times, but my friend who was accompanying me was at my side, catching me and supporting me. As I rested on a rock, a group of friends joined us and one of them said, “Jess, all you need to have a healing is love.” Immediately I recognized that God, divine Love, was being expressed all around me. I didn’t need to wait or hope to feel a sense of perfect harmony—I could claim it right now. As I continued to ponder this, the practitioner came to meet me and the rest of the group continued on to the van.
The practitioner started sharing ideas with me, but at first I had trouble focusing. Finally, one idea really resonated with me—almost like I had been hit atop the head with it! “Peace is a power,” the practitioner told me. I could see that just like darkness is the absence of light, chaos is the absence of peace. Because peace comes from God, it has infinite power.
This was a huge idea for me. Since I was a little kid, I had thought that peace comes only if you fix all your problems first. But here I was learning that this was not true. Peace is the power, not chaos. With this change in my thinking, the weakness and disorientation receded and I felt better almost immediately.
I got on the van to go mountain biking and my friend read Science and Health with me. This warm expression of love was calming, and any remaining symptoms or fear about what had happened were totally erased. I recalled what my other friend had told me earlier: that all you need to have a healing is love. I realized love is a way to establish peace around you. I looked at all my friends and counselors and I thought about how much love was being expressed toward me. They were all supporting me, and that love brought peace.
Thirty minutes later, I was conquering a mountain on a bike. I didn’t feel any discomfort, only peace. Even after camp was over, I kept my new ideas of peace with me always. I now know that I can have peace within me and around me all the time. It’s God’s law!
Jess Faunt will be a junior in high school in the fall. She loves running cross country, spending time with her family, and participating in Christian Science activities like her summer camp.
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