Healing a broken bone by reading something? Huh?

Q: How can you heal a broken bone just by reading something in the Bible or Science and Health?

A: Countless people have been healed as a result of exploring those books; the final chapter of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy contains a hundred pages of examples of people healed simply by reading it, including the healing of a broken bone (see pp. 605–606).

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But I have a feeling that’s not really what you’re asking. To me the question sounds more like, When you’re in trouble, how can reading words actually help? 

Christian Science teaches that God heals not by changing symptoms but by changing our thoughts. The reality of everything seems to be exclusively material, yet it’s well worth becoming open to the possibility that what we experience as reality is better defined as exclusively mental. When our thoughts are enlightened by the power of God, healing happens, and everything in our experience changes.

The thing is, I understand how praying on our own, with two books as our only companions, can seem awfully lonely. Whenever I’ve tried praying that way, I have felt intimidated and haven’t gotten very far.

As I read, I try to be willing to allow God to change my perspective and my deepest thoughts.

That’s why I’ve made a commitment to myself never to study the Bible or Science and Health alone. It’s not that I ask some other person to read with me, though. As I begin reading and studying, I like to pause first and acknowledge the loving presence of God, who is my best friend.

I become mentally open for God, divine Love, to point out concepts that are important for me right now. It feels very humbling to do this, and it makes me receptive of anything and everything God has for me. I try my best not to judge what God is showing me, especially if I don’t understand it all the way. I just try to be willing to allow God to change my perspective and my deepest thoughts.

My favorite experience doing this happened when I was playing baseball for my college and collided with another player. From the way my body felt and from other injuries I’d seen, it was obvious to me that my collarbone was broken. Instead of consulting with our trainer, though, I left the game and went back to my dorm room to pray, because I’d already experienced healing through prayer many times in my life. There I had copies of the Bible and of Mrs. Eddy’s book about prayer and healing, Science and Health.

I was in pain, but I got as comfortable as I could and then sat there with the books on my lap. It was tempting to mentally replay the collision and wonder how soon I would be playing again. But instead, I just acknowledged that I was in the presence of God. As important as my day-to-day life seemed, I could feel deeply that everything is really about God.

In prayer, I said to God, “I’m not sure how to think about all of this, but I know that You can help me, and I am wide open to all that You have to give.” Then I opened the books. As I was reading along in Science and Health, I noticed one idea that kept recurring: It is God’s doing that I am a spiritual creation. Whenever I would come across this idea, I would feel God’s love and be a bit more peaceful. It’s that peaceful love of God that indicates God is communicating with us.

For many hours that day, I read and read those books. The following two days, I did the same thing. I loved what I was learning and felt impelled to learn more. Gently, I could feel God’s love each time I came across a concept that indicated my spirituality along with my God-given spiritual perfection.

It became very clear that a spiritual being never gets in an accident.

Since finals were coming up, the next day I decided I’d better get to class. I was still hurting, so as I combed my hair I continued thinking about this single idea that God had pointed out to me in so many different ways: I am a spiritual being, and there’s nothing material about me. It became very clear that a spiritual being never gets in an accident.

In class a couple of hours later, I realized that I was completely healed and free of pain. I went to baseball practice and played better than I’d ever played before. I was so glad that I was healed, but I was even more happy about the fact that I’d been willing to make such an effort studying the Bible and Science and Health. I had learned an important fact about my spiritual identity, and it made me just overflow with love for God. That love has never stopped.

As God’s children, we all are made to understand the truth about reality. The Bible and Science and Health are such good tools for bringing our thoughts into line with how God sees and knows us. Sometimes, you may have to really dig in and study, but hang in there and keep going. Jesus promised, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9, New King James Version).

And remember: You are never studying alone. Always pause to feel that. God, your best friend, is right there with you. Since God is embracing you, you might as well embrace God right back by accepting deeply everything God points out as you’re reading. I’ve found that doing this is not only satisfying and healing but always more fun than I expect.

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