During a landscape painting trip in Maine, I went water skiing with the family I was staying with. In an attempt to drop a ski, I fell and the skis awkwardly twisted my legs. I felt considerable pain in one of my knees, so I immediately turned to God for comfort, acknowledging His ever-present love for me. The boat driver and passenger came to assist me and also started sharing spiritual truths. This helped me as I strove to lift myself from the material sense of what happened to the spiritual sense of my being as a child of God, secure in His care.
When we returned to where I was staying, I called a Christian Science practitioner for support through prayer. Her immediate response was very loving, and she was firm in acknowledging the ever-presence of God’s laws, which govern His children. I was afraid I would have to end my trip early and return home because of an inability to drive or walk comfortably. She assured me that God was governing every action and event, and that I did not need to hold on to any fears. The love for God and man and the complete trust in His laws that I felt after talking with the practitioner helped me turn further away from a hurt body to a firmer understanding of my relationship with God. I knew that as His creation, my substance was spiritual and indestructible.
I sat silently communing with God. Jesus tells us to go into the closet when we pray (see Matthew 6:6). To establish this closet or mental sanctuary, I stopped replaying the incident in my thoughts, and obeyed the Bible’s command, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I had learned that acknowledging God’s presence through communion with Him—or through “stationary power, stillness, and strength” (Mary Baker Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, p. 93)—is an effective way to uplift human thought from material sense to spiritual understanding. So I silently affirmed God’s presence, and acknowledged Him as the only Mind.
I also prayed with this passage by Mary Baker Eddy: “Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress” (Science and Health, p. 506). This helped me to realize that God does the healing work by permanently uniting our understanding with His harmony. In Sunday School, I’d learned that my true substance was my understanding of God, not a material body. Therefore it’s God’s law that my substance must be in agreement with divine goodness and Love, and it cannot be injured, twisted, or subject to pain. The second sentence of this passage taught me that my job was to maintain a calm and exalted thought, which dissolves any belief that our well-being can be interrupted, and brings a sense of peace. I knew this was being “about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49), and that I could expect healing.
I called the practitioner and asked her if I needed to keep studying or if I could engage in other activities. She reminded me that it wasn’t what I was doing that mattered, but what I was knowing. The practitioner also told me that if at any point my thoughts got disrupted or fearful, I was to go back to my “sanctuary” until I felt the peace of aligning my thoughts with God’s all-presence. I went about my work as an artist, acknowledging God’s complete control.
These passages revealed to me that the healing or the right idea for action comes from God and is discernible once thought is at peace. I mentally worked to embody these ideas during the day and found complete peace in my thought, which was made manifest in my body. The pain significantly disappeared, and I could walk, run, paint, and drive freely. Within a week all symptoms of the injury, including the swelling and discoloration, had vanished.
I’m so grateful to see how keeping our focus on God strengthens our spiritual sense, and with this spiritual knowing, we are healed.
Chesterfield, Missouri, US
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