Love extinguishes fear; hip no longer sore
It is a widely held belief that as we become older, we suffer from all sorts of aches and pains. Through my study of Christian Science I understand this to be an illusive belief and ultimately false, but I recently recognized I needed to specifically protect my thought against it when I suffered from a sore hip. I knew I had to remove the fear of pain from my consciousness, which is the only place that discord can simulate an existence.
This truth is explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She writes: “The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a material state. Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body” (p. 411).
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On the basis of these teachings, I began to pray in the way that has brought healing to me many times before. I turned away from the material evidence and focused my attention on the spiritual facts.
Science and Health states: “The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal. We must hold forever the consciousness of existence, and sooner or later, through Christ and Christian Science, we must master sin and death. The evidence of man’s immortality will become more apparent, as material beliefs are given up and the immortal facts of being are admitted” (p. 428).
I was praying this way, but had not yet reached the point of healing, when my husband and I agreed to look after my daughter’s pet dog, a lovely black retriever, while her family went on a vacation. We were excited at the prospect of having a dog in the house, although I was a little concerned about walking her because of the discomfort in my hip.
The dog arrived, and as we settled her in I prayed to understand that she would know we loved her, that she would be happy in our house, and that she wouldn’t miss the activity in my daughter’s home. I planned to get up early every morning to take her for a walk around the nearby public golf course.
The first morning she was pleased to greet me, and we joyfully set off on our walk. My husband had calculated that walking the perimeter of the golf course was two and a half miles, and I was accomplishing it with joyful ease. It was glorious to be out in the early morning sunshine when everything was so fresh and new.
The dog was so affectionate, and my husband and I felt truly blessed. I was so concerned about making sure the dog was happy that I forgot all about myself, including my hip. By the end of her stay, all discomfort in my hip was gone! I was overjoyed. I realized that reflecting God as divine Love by loving the dog had removed any sense of fear of disease in my thought. I felt I had witnessed something Mrs. Eddy writes about in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896: “We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven” (p. 113).
When I returned the dog, my daughter commented on how energized I looked! Healing always rejuvenates us, and I certainly felt as if I had “put off the old man” and had become new (see
Colossians 3:9, 10).
A “spin-off” from this special time of healing was that on our walks I noticed that a corner of the golf course was badly littered. After the dog went home, I occasionally enjoyed more early morning walks and brought along a bag to collect litter. It continues to be a joy to be able to engage in this project to contribute to my neighborhood.
The dog has visited us several times since then. Walking with her one recent morning, I felt such gratitude for these walks, which are a wonderful time to acknowledge God’s allness, and that was when I felt led to write this testimony.
I am truly grateful to God for all the blessings in my life and for Mrs. Eddy, who worked tirelessly to give us all the gift of Christian Science, which makes practical the teachings of Christ Jesus and enables us to overcome any inharmonious situation.
Coulsdon, Surrey, England