by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
I was alone in my bedroom lying on the bed. The pain in my chest was so intense that I couldn’t move. My daughter was visiting for the weekend, but she was still asleep in her room with the door shut and her husband was in the living room at the other end of the house watching television. My husband was out making a delivery to a hay customer. I couldn’t cry aloud for help – but I didn’t think anyone would hear me anyway. Was I helpless? What could I do?
Words from a hymn in the Christian Science hymnal were the first to come to my rescue: “God is my strong salvation; What foe have I to fear? In darkness and temptation, my light, my help, is near. Though hosts encamp around me, Firm in the fight I stand, What terror can confound me, With God at my right hand?” (Hymn 77)
Then the Biblical promise my mother often quoted assured me: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8)
I immediately felt calmer. The fear that had gripped me began to subside. What came to mind next was the first sentence from what Mary Baker Eddy called “the scientific statement of being” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.” (p. 468)
Thinking of the pain as synonymous with matter, I reasoned, “There is no life in pain, there is no truth in pain, there is no intelligence in pain, and there is no substance in pain.” I knew these statements were true because God is the only life, truth, intelligence and substance. I knew that I was the reflection of my Father-Mother God, that every part of my being reflected God. I knew there could not be a moment when I was not reflecting the absolute perfection of God.
From the time I had first started studying Christian Science, the truth that “all things are possible to God” – at all times and in all situations – had become very real to me. Mary Baker Eddy’s study of the Bible, the healings she had, and those she helped others to have, resulted in her discovery that healing was a natural outcome of acknowledging, affirming and practicing the laws of God that are found in the Bible. For the benefit of all, she explained these laws in Science and Health, telling how to apply them in the practice of scientific, mental healing.
Often in the past, when I prayed, I had found it helpful and strengthening to walk around, literally pacing back and forth, affirming the laws of God as law to my being , applicable to whatever situation I was praying about at the time. I would liken myself to a lawyer on a case, arguing for the innocence of a client.
While this time I could not do my usual walking and pacing, I argued I could still mentally affirm just as powerfully that God was governing and protecting me.
I recalled a statement from the chapter entitled “Christian Science Practice” in Science and Health: “Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him.” (p. 421) So although I could not move, I could “insist vehemently” that I was not alone and helpless, that God was always with me. I could “insist vehemently” that every thought, every hymn verse, every Bible passage, every statement from Science and Health, that came to me, represented laws of God coming to my rescue and affirming my innocence – my exemption from suffering.
After a short time, the pain abated. I could move close enough to reach the telephone, and was able to call my husband on his cell phone. He was just driving through the gate of our ranch. When he got to the house, he called a Christian Science Practitioner to further assist me prayerfully, because at that moment, I was leery of trying to stand and walk, fearing that the pain might return.
The practitioner assured me that I was completely safe in God’s care, and that nothing could intrude upon my perfect soundness. He also told me that I could trust the effectiveness of the prayerful work I had been doing. In that one call, the remaining doubt that I might not be totally free was completely dispelled.
I was soon able to stand and walk and get on with my family activities planned for the day. The pain did not return. I was fine and remained fine.
This experience has filled me with hope. Hope that says, “It’s never too late.” “We’re never out of reach.” “Nothing is beyond repair.” “No situation is too dire.” I truly believe there can be no extremity in our body, in our family, with our job – even on a battlefield – where the healing laws of God can’t rescue us.