From accident to freedom

When a motorcycle accident threatened her ability to start college, a young woman turned to God for healing. The realization that God, good, is supremely powerful lifted her fear and self-pity and paved the way for an on-time arrival at school – completely healed.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Two weeks before I was to leave home to attend college, I was exuberant with the anticipation of a new freedom and direction ... until a motorcycle accident that was not my fault left me unable to walk and badly cut up, dashing my hopes. I saw no way to get to college in time for freshman orientation.

But I had been learning through my study of the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, that my true identity was spiritual. We are all the offspring of the all-loving God. So, although we appear to be material beings subject to sickness, accidents, etc., we are in reality subject only to God’s laws, which are spiritual laws of harmony and wholeness. On previous occasions, I had experienced how understanding this can lead to healing.

In this case, I pondered a powerful statement from Science and Health that says, “Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony” (p. 424).

So when my mother asked whether I wanted to be treated in a hospital (leaving the decision up to me since I was an adult now), I confidently declined, thinking, “God is infinitely bigger than this problem and is ever present and supremely powerful.” I found comfort in the idea that God, good, was in control of my well-being.

I began a search in the Bible for a fuller understanding that I could never fall out of God’s grace and care. In Second Corinthians, the Apostle Paul said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (3:17). Science and Health expands on this idea when it states: “Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being” (p. 227).

This addressed my needs so specifically that my joy and confidence starting returning immediately. I was eager and ready to learn more about my God-given freedom. If the Spirit of the Lord brings freedom, then I wanted more of that!

Divine Spirit, God, can include nothing but goodness, and inspires qualities such as kindness, forgiveness, strength, courage, hope, and patience. I wanted to better express each of those qualities, living my true, spiritual nature more fully. And such qualities are in line with the two great commandments to love God and to love our fellow man, which are very freeing ways to think and act.

I continued to pray with spiritual ideas that lifted my thought away from focusing on my body and feeling self-pity, and brought a confident reliance on God as not only infinitely powerful and ever present, but also all-knowing. As God’s child, or spiritual image, we can, ultimately, only know what God knows – which is entirely good.

As I prayed to better understand these ideas, I found that I was able to forgive the young man who had caused the accident, realizing he could not truly cause me harm since I was always under God’s protecting love and care. I gained the courage to be patient and hopeful rather than giving in to doubts and fears about how long it would take my body to recover and whether I would ever look normal again.

Before I knew it, it was time to pack up my belongings and load the car to leave for college, and I was ready to do so. I was completely healthy. There was no evidence of injury left.

“Nothing is more disheartening than to believe that there is a power opposite to God, or good, and that God endows this opposing power with strength to be used against Himself, against Life, health, harmony,” Science and Health says (p. 380). That’s how I had felt in the aftermath of the accident. But as I found in this healing, through prayer we can come to the glorious realization described in the next sentence of that passage: “Every law of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God.”

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

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The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

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