Years ago, our family moved into a second-story apartment in a building that had no elevator. We had a large stroller that accommodated all three of our small children, and it was unwieldy to carry up and down the steps, something I often did twice a day.
After about two weeks in this apartment, one of my hips became sore, and walking was uncomfortable. I attributed the pain to lugging this clunky stroller up and down the stairs and complained to my husband. But he lovingly suggested that the problem might not be the stroller – in fact, it might not be physical at all!
I knew he was nudging me toward a prayerful approach. Experience had taught me that identifying ourselves and everyone as God’s spiritual offspring, not vulnerable to material causes, brings about freedom and healing.
A statement that I’d prayed with before from the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, helped me. It says, “To divest thought of false trusts and material evidences in order that the spiritual facts of being may appear, – this is the great attainment by means of which we shall sweep away the false and give place to the true” (p. 428).
I certainly wanted to “sweep away” the image I was holding of myself as injured and frustrated. I knew it was false because as God’s children, we reflect God’s delightful qualities and attributes, which surely don’t include frustration or injury. Science and Health explains, “From beginning to end, the Scriptures are full of accounts of the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over matter” (p. 139). Here, Mrs. Eddy is using the words “Spirit” and “Mind” as names for God.
I love the promise of these scriptural accounts. Moses, Elijah, and Christ Jesus all solved challenges through prayer and a fuller understanding of God.
A simple truth from the Bible came into play here – namely, that God, or Spirit, created everything and made it spiritual and good. That meant that my life was spiritual, not physical. Wheeling the kids around, and even carrying the stroller, was really about my love for them and God’s love for all creation, rather than about steps and a heavy object. It didn’t include soreness or resentment.
I felt a spark of joy inside as I accepted just a little more the idea that I was wholly spiritual.
A few days after I’d begun praying, I realized that the pain was gone for good. I was still carrying the stroller up and down the steps twice a day, too!
Each of us can experience how a radical, spiritual view of the nature of reality brings healing, joy, and confidence.
Adapted from a testimony published in the June 9, 2008, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.
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