Christian Science & the power of healing prayer
Several years ago, when I was taking an all-day bike ride on Memorial Day weekend, I ran into another bicyclist head-on. We were going around a blind curve at a fair rate of speed. Fortunately, the other cyclist received only minor scratches; but I made contact with his handlebars just below my helmet, breaking several facial bones and my jaw. I was knocked unconscious, and an emergency vehicle took me to the UCLA Medical Center.
By the time my wife arrived, I had regained consciousness, but was unable to communicate because of the tubes in my mouth. My wife and I were both praying. She talked with the doctors and called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with us and provide spiritual comfort and support.
For three days the doctors probed, X-rayed, and tested. They determined that I had numerous facial fractures and that my jaw was broken in two places. They recommended extensive facial surgery, including the insertion of several metal plates to hold the bones in place. They said I needed to allow about ten days for the swelling to go down before surgery, and I was released to go home.
I wasn’t a pretty sight. My family joked that I looked like a prizefighter who had just lost his fight. The quiet atmosphere of our home gave me the opportunity to do more focused praying. When I have a problem, physical, or any other, I try to listen to God to guide me to the specific ideas I need to think about, which in turn remedy the problem.
I studied Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, a book about spiritual healing by Mary Baker Eddy that discusses the idea that there can be no accident in God’s perfect creation. In this study I was reminded that God maintains His creation, including me, intact.
I had broken a tooth in the crash and scheduled an appointment to get it fixed. It seemed logical to have the tooth repaired. I could see that our prayers, and those of the Christian Science practitioner, were already having a substantial effect on restoring my face. So instead of giving the dentist the X-rays taken at the hospital a few days earlier, I allowed him to take new X-rays. I mentally held to the idea that the only true diagnosis could be found in the first chapter of Genesis: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;…And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”
The dentist recommended that I stabilize the jaw by having it wired together. I guess I knew right then that I would not be returning to the hospital for the recommended facial surgery. A specialist was able to stabilize the jaw within about an hour without even a local anesthetic.
For the next three weeks, I ate all my meals through a straw. The practitioner was very supportive and prayed daily with us. I especially remember a citation from the Bible that says, “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” (Isa. 40:4).
I read diligently the fifth chapter of Science and Health, which is called “Animal Magnetism Unmasked.” There was one paragraph that I particularly liked that describes our spiritual declaration of independence: “God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love” (p. 106). Because I was relying on prayer for healing instead of the recommendations of the doctors, this discussion of self-government through God’s guidance was important in showing me what to think and do.
I know that the purpose of prayer is to bring our thought into line with God and His perfect government of man and the universe. An incident like this impels us to examine what we are holding in consciousness. In this case of broken facial bones, I mentally focused on making the crooked places straight by means of this spiritual study. Though it appeared as a physical change, it was actually a mental adjustment.
Healing progressed beautifully. The bones in my face reformed correctly, and in three weeks I returned to the specialist to have the wires removed. Not only was I able to eat normally, but as soon as I got the wires out of my mouth, I was back on my bicycle. In fact, I think I even went out on my bicycle a few times with the wires still in.
The hospital expected me to return after ten days, but as I prayed I didn’t see any need for surgery. I never really felt that the surgical insertion of plates was going to be necessary. I had experienced enough spiritual healing throughout my lifetime to know that when this healing work is done by God, the Great Physician, nobody can do it better.
One month after the accident I attended a statewide convention, and was actively involved with thousands of people. To my knowledge, nobody noticed any evidence of the injury. My face had been totally restored.
Another Christian Science healing!