One day last summer my husband and I were sailing with friends. The wind was blowing and gusting, lovely for sailing. But late in the afternoon when we were returning to the marina, the wind changed quite suddenly, causing the boat to jibe, so that the wind blew the mainsail from the opposite side, and the boom, mainsail, and tackle swept across the boat. My head was in the path of the boom, and the full weight hit me on the side of my face, throwing my sunglasses across the cockpit of the boat. It all happened in a few seconds, and I found myself on the bottom of the boat. I heard my husband asking me, ``Are you all right?'' while he was lifting me up. I found myself replying, ``Yes. I am all right.'' Instantly I felt God's presence there with me. I felt calm and peaceful as I sat quietly. My husband told me there was a mark by my eye, and the side of my face was swelling, but I pulled down my cap and put on my sunglasses again, knowing I was all right.
The owner of the boat, who had been at the helm, was very concerned, feeling that it was his fault. But his wife and I are both students of Christian Science, and she told me afterward that she too immediately viewed the situation from a spiritual standpoint. That night I washed my face without looking in the mirror, and the next morning when our friends telephoned I was able to reassure them that I was just fine, for by that time there was no trace of the trouble.
But how could I on the previous day say so firmly that I was all right in spite of the clear-cut evidence that I had had a bad knock and would suffer bruising and swelling and pain? Because I had experienced and witnessed the healing power of Christian Science on a number of occasions. And I had learned how important it is to challenge the outward evidence and look beyond it to the things that can't be damaged or hurt to the reality of God's perfect spiritual creation, which includes man.
Didn't Christ Jesus promise: ``Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.''1 And Jesus' disciples proved the protective power of God on many occasions.
To look beyond appearances and insist that harmony is the reality is not to dismiss material evidence blandly or to ignore it. Rather it's to refuse to accept that evidence as the actual condition of man or as the governing factor in any situation. It's to bring healing to the mental state that determines material conditions rather than to be mesmerized by the conditions themselves. Man is infinitely more than a mortal, frail and hurtable at many points. Our true selfhood is immortal, governed and protected at all times by God, the one divine Mind, which knows no disorder or chance that can have harmful effects or aftereffects.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes: ``When an accident happens, you think or exclaim, `I am hurt!' Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.'' She continues: ``Now reverse the process. Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be.''2
In an experience such as mine it helps to remind oneself, ``I was not hurt,'' so that no lingering recollection of it can spoil enjoyment of similar events in the future. This helps us cultivate a feeling of safety that's more than a beautiful theory. It's a conviction, because God's care has been experienced and proved.
1Luke 12:6, 7. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 397. Daily Bible Verse The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul