The posts discussed the four steps I am taking each day to get up on the water:
1) To think bigger thoughts and to expand my understanding of God every day.
2) To let the Christ (God's message of good for me) mobilize me in new directions.
3) To express stability with each new step and conquer doubt and fear.
4) To celebrate each victory and recognize that a forward step for one blesses all.
Here is one recent victory.
Then as I walked to the metro, I took a major spill on the sidewalk. It wasn't an insignificant tumble. My face received the full impact. Concerned helpers were on the scene immediately, offering to call for emergency aid and suggesting I sue the city for its poorly-lit sidewalk. But, all I really wanted was to get back on my feet and be alone so I could pray.
The Psalmist said, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand." (37:23-24) Although stunned by the fall, I had confidence that divine help was at hand and that this whole scene could turn around quickly.
I thanked my way free of my helpers and called my husband to meet me for the train trip home. I decided to walk to the station instead of taking the metro to avoid worrying others by my appearance. I was a sight, covered in mud, and I could feel my face swelling rapidly. It appeared that my nose might be broken. So I headed toward the station, a good 40 minute walk, keeping my face averted. And I began to pray.
I took seriously that phrase "Declare you are not hurt and understand the reason why." So, my initial thoughts in prayer were to understand the reason why I did not have to suffer the effects of accident. I reasoned that my face and the sidewalk were not enemies. I saw that as ideas of Mind, God, each fulfilled an intelligent purpose. Expanding my sense of Mind, God, to include Love, I saw that Love's creations are designed to support, comfort and aide one another, but never injure.
I stopped the accident from repeating itself in thought by letting spiritual sense redefine both me and the sidewalk. Were I simply a material object, I could seem soft, vulnerable, fragile; but as a spiritual creation of divine Love, I knew I was actually strong, resilient, and unbreakable. As a material object the sidewalk seemed cold, hard and unyeilding. But manifesting the intelligence of creative Mind, a sidewalk fulfills its purpose to stabilize movement and to give support, - that is, to hold me up, not to bring to me down. At this point in my prayer, all pain in my face suddenly stopped and I felt my nose move back into position.
I could feel I was getting somewhere. So I kept praying.
I remembered the insistence of those that came to my aid that the accident was the mayor's fault. As easy as it would have been to place blame somewhere for the fall, I saw this as a trap. Such blame would have been misplaced. I had seen the condition of the sidewalk and the lighting was just fine. So I acknowledged in prayer that I had no conflict with the city and I forgave myself for wearing new shoes that were a little loose. With each point of forgiveness I could feel things - like my teeth - adjusting into their proper place. In fact, a longstanding misalignment was corrected in the process.
Then thought turned to the angry email I had received earlier in the day. Although I was now past it, I had been shaken by the initial smack when I first read it. I forgave the writer for his anger. There were no enemies here. Love's ideas are designed to communicate clearly, understand each other and bless, but never harm.
When my husband saw me, he could see the fire, too. Initially concerned, he watched as my face rapidly returned to normal shape during the course of the evening. I continued to pray, and by the next morning my face was nearly completely restored. By the second day all evidence of the incident was completely erased from my face.
To my husband, it was some sort of miracle. To me, the physical healing was, of course, lovely. But what I appreciated most from this experience was that, like Peter, I stepped out of the boat and stumbled, but I did not sink.
We shouldn't kid ourselves into thinking that the path of spirituality - the way of Christ Jesus, that challenges material premises in day-to-day activities - will be without bumps. Mary Baker Eddy put it this way: "If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms." (Science and Health, p. 254)
But like Peter, we can have confidence in that hand of Christ - the divine power that catches and holds us up with its message of God's wholly spiritual creation. No storms, no conflict, no so-called enemy can keep us down. We may dip low from time to time, but we can and will walk on water.
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