On a Friday, late last August, I was volunteering and helping with the last day at a camp. The next day was a big paddle board race I had trained for all summer, and my official cross-country season for school was starting on Monday. I had almost finished the day and was taking a bike ride, when I tumbled off of a low, approximately five-foot, bridge on my mountain bike. I hit the ground with my arm extended and immediately was in a lot of pain. Right away, I started to pray, but the pain soon overwhelmed my thoughts.
I was taken to my mom’s work nearby, and she began to share with me that there was no way I could have fallen out of God’s care. Later we called a Christian Science practitioner for help, and she assured me that God loved me and I had never and could never be separated from God.
That night my mom read to me a lot from the Sentinel, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science Bible Lesson, and a book that had lectures and articles on Christian Science. I don’t remember the exact passages she shared with me, but I do remember feeling comfortable in my mom’s loving embrace. The next day was my paddle board competition and I wasn’t able to compete, but I tried to encourage others by cheering them on while they raced by.
I was feeling quite a bit of pain and fear, but my mom helped me by continuing to share with me that I was in God’s care; I had always been in God’s care and God wouldn’t and couldn’t cause me to be injured or in pain. My prayers included the ideas that “accidents are unknown to God …” (Science and Health, p. 424), God is the only cause and creator, and “there is no pain in Truth, and no truth in pain; …” (Science and Health, p. 113).
A decision to have my arm set was soon made, in part due to a passage in Science and Health on page 401. The passage says, “Until the advancing age admits the efficacy and supremacy of Mind, it is better for Christian Scientists to leave surgery and the adjustment of broken bones and dislocations to the fingers of a surgeon, while the mental healer confines himself chiefly to mental reconstruction and to the prevention of inflammation.”
The weekend after I got a cast on my arm was Labor Day, and we went to the coast. I read my copy of Science and Health for five hours before we left that afternoon. Some things that stuck out to me were: “God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect. Man is the expression of God’s being” (p. 470). I saw that God is perfect and is always perfect. If man is His expression and reflection, then we are the exact likeness of that perfection.
I gradually came to see there was absolutely no cause besides God.
I also really liked the question and answer “What is man?” on page 475, and this part of the answer: “Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin.” Man comes from God, good, so in reality there is no way for us to sin, or be sick, or in pain, because we cannot depart from holiness, and our connection to God cannot be broken or damaged in any way.
Another recurring challenge for me was in looking for a cause. I kept thinking, Why did I break my arm? Why did I fall off that low bridge, etc.? At first I thought maybe I had fallen so I could be humbled and learn to support my paddle board team, but I soon saw my reasoning was incorrect. While we can learn lessons from tough times, I gradually came to see there was absolutely no cause besides God.
That Wednesday I had a breakthrough. I felt no more pain, and I knew it was because I wasn’t looking for a cause for it anymore. There was no cause because I had never been broken. God is the only cause, and God is nothing but whole, good, and perfect. I am God’s reflection, so there is nothing in me that can cease to reflect His perfection. Once I realized this truth, I no longer had any fear or pain.
The next day my mom and I went in for my checkup. I went there knowing that no material image could show my true spiritual wholeness. The doctor emphasized how well and quickly things were healing. I was able to get my cast off in a little over three weeks.
After this, I was having trouble with my running after I’d missed two weeks of practice. I was extremely nervous before one of my cross-country meets, but after competing in the meet, I realized that I had nothing to fear because “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). I soon began to run with joy and was grateful for the wonderful healing proof I’d just had at the meet of God’s ever-present care and love. My running greatly improved and I even set a record for our school for a freshman 5K time. Two other girls and I from our team went to compete at the state level, and I was selected as girls most valuable player. God was my refuge and strength throughout the track season. There was no way I could have achieved any of those things without leaning on God.
I am so grateful for all I learned from this experience. We are truly not separated from God, and our expression of Him can never be broken or stopped.
Rachel Luther is a freshman in high school. She runs cross country and track, and in her free time likes to windsurf, stand up paddle board, read, and take pictures.
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