In February 2007, I traveled with an artist friend to a remote river cottage for a weekend of “plein-air painting,” or painting outdoors in a natural setting. We were to be joined by other artists the following day.
Arriving late in the afternoon, we carried our luggage and painting equipment inside. After getting settled, we decided to drive into the nearest town to eat dinner.
It was dark by this time. While walking to the car, I tripped and fell headfirst over a low brick wall that wasn’t lighted. As I landed on the concrete driveway, my nose received the full impact of the fall, and my left wrist felt as if it had been injured.
Immediately, I began to pray, mentally insisting that I’d never been separated from God and that no circumstance could interfere with my perfect reflection of Him. I also declared firmly that “accidents are unknown to God,” based on concepts I’d studied from Science and Health, and that God is always in control and His plan includes only good (see p. 424).
My friend was directly behind me when I fell and was very frightened. She wanted to know what she could do to help, and I asked for some towels, since I was bleeding. As she went into the house, I continued to lie still, and the next thought that came to me was, “This is going to make a great testimony.” “Well,” I thought, “That’s very encouraging. I must be expecting a complete healing!”
My friend sat with me in the driveway until I was ready to go into the cottage to lie down on the sofa. She then asked if I needed anything for pain or if I wanted to go to a hospital for emergency care. I realized I wasn’t experiencing any pain, and explained that I’d always had good results by praying for healing through relying on Christian Science as a means of healthcare. My friend respected this and offered to drive me home, but I assured her that if I was not all right by morning, my husband would be happy to come and get me.
I was awake for most of the night, and I studied many statements of truth from Science and Health. I prayed to know that in reality I was “unfallen, upright, pure, and free,” and that I’d never fallen from my “high estate”—my heritage as God’s child (see Science and Health, pp. 171, 258). Gaining confidence through these prayers, I was able to face and defeat the fear that I’d be left scarred or disfigured from the incident, or even penalized for not going to a doctor for stitches.
The most important part of my prayers was my firm resolve not to allow the moment of impact on the driveway to replay itself over and over in my thought. Every time the scene tried to repeat itself, I firmly said, “No,” and instead began to pray with “the scientific statement of being” from Science and Health, and also with the Daily Prayer from the Manual of The Mother Church (see Science and Health, p. 468; Manual, p. 41). At times, it felt as if I was waging war against these aggressive thoughts about injury and accident, but I knew that God’s love was stronger than pain or fear.
By the following morning, my face wasn’t swollen anymore, and I felt better. Joining the group of arriving artists, with a bandage on my nose, I was able to participate in the weekend of painting. When the artists found out about what had happened, several commented that I was going to be very black and blue. But I silently rejected this idea as not having the support of spiritual law. Therefore, I didn’t have to accept it as fact. Any discoloration I had on my face soon faded.
My friend and I returned home two days later. For the first time, I began to have pain in my ribs, and breathing deeply was difficult. My wrist and my nose were healing beautifully, so I was disappointed to suddenly be confronted with this challenge to a complete healing. For several days, the problem got worse, and my husband became concerned.
Inspiration led me to pray by considering part of the description of serpent in the Glossary of Science and Health. It reads, in part, “the first lie of limitation” ( p. 594). That struck a chord with me, and I realized I’d been struggling for some time with a sense of financial limitation. It wasn’t that I was lacking anything necessary, but I had several investments that were not doing well, and for me this situation had been painful to think about. But right then, I realized that I didn’t have to be influenced by the “serpent thought” that my security depended on a personal ability to create income. Shortly after this revelation, the pain in my ribs stopped, and my breathing became normal.
My husband, who is new to the study of Christian Science, was very moved by this complete healing. We’re both very grateful.
This testimony was originally published in the Sept.1, 2008 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.