Last winter, one icy morning, I decided to walk the mile or so to my local village. It was downhill all the way and I was wearing unsuitable shoes. I skidded a fair bit but made it to the village. Then, as I moved out of the path of a car, I slipped in a major way. My entire body left the ground and I landed with force on my back, right on my tailbone.
The car stopped and the occupants asked if I was alright. I replied that I was – mainly because I felt so foolish, and also very afraid. When I picked myself up, I felt shooting pains all the way up the back of both my legs as well as pain in my lower back region. I realised I should go home and I was grateful to be able to walk the mile home – uphill all the way.
I was extremely afraid, and as I walked I affirmed that I was entirely spiritual. Mary Baker Eddy in her book ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’ reminds us that “Mortals are no more material in their waking hours than when they act, walk, see, hear, enjoy, or suffer in dreams” (p.397, lines 24-26). This concept resonates very much with me: in dreams we are mental, not physical – and so I can see that in our waking hours we are similarly spiritual, not material. Christian Science teaches that we are spiritual ideas (in the mind of God) and not really made of what we call ‘matter’. The key point for me at this point was to see that if I was an idea, then as an idea I couldn’t be hurt. When I got home I phoned a Christian Science practitioner to support my prayers and I also continued to think about my spiritual identity.
Over the next couple of weeks, as I walked to work each morning from my parking place – every step producing pain – I thought about how I was actually spiritual, an idea in the mind of God. I also kept in regular contact with the practitioner. There was some improvement but I continued to feel horribly afraid that I had broken something in my tailbone.
One day around two to three weeks later, while taking lunch in the school where I work, I skidded and jarred my back. My fear escalated. I left the dining hall without eating and phoned the practitioner in panicky tears. She urged me to not take this picture of accident ‘lying down’. I noted the silly pun and was reminded of the paragraph in the Christian Science textbook where the author tells us that accidents are “unknown to God” because God is everywhere – present in all space and in all time – and so there’s no room for anything else (p.424, lines 5-11). I can’t say that I honestly thought a lot about that, but the practitioner certainly must have because when I woke up the next morning I was completely healed – completely. There was no more pain of any kind. I have since thought about some more helpful ideas about accidents e.g. p.397 of ‘Science and Health’ lines 8-16, and p.402 lines 15-19.
I am so very grateful to those individuals who devote their time, effort and lives to spiritualising their thought so that through their recognition and realisation of the allness of God’s presence they are able to help others see through the illusion of God’s absence.