A couple of weeks ago, I was doing some shopping in our local village. It was raining, and rather slippery underfoot, there having been a hard frost the night before. As I hurried along the pavement holding my umbrella and my shopping bags, I suddenly slipped and found myself flying through the air, falling very heavily on one knee.
As I landed on the pavement, I heard myself saying, "No accidents, no accidents". Looking back, I knew I had instinctively turned to these words in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy: "Accidents are unknown to God. Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection" (S&H 424: 5, 10-11). Our Leader also writes, "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. 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". (S&H 397: 12-22).
A passer-by rushed to my aid, kindly asking if I was all right. I assured the gentleman I was fine, and he helped me to my feet before he went on his way. My umbrella was buckled and broken- I think it might have cushioned my fall, as it was smashed beyond repair.
As I gathered myself, I recalled an incident which a Christian Science practitioner shared with me many years ago, and which has given me food for thought on many occasions. He received a phone call one day from a man who was in great distress, having just fallen down the stairs.On learning of the patient's need, the practitioner said quite calmly, "Falling down the stairs is not a cause!" I'm sure that behind that rather startling statement was the clear understanding that God is the only cause and creator, and He causes only good. Mrs. Eddy writes, "There is one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause". (S&H 207: 20-23). The Bible assures us, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe". (Ps. 119: 117). As I understand it, the patient was quickly healed of all untoward effects of his unscheduled fall down the flight of stairs.
As I walked back to the car, I acknowledged that falling heavily on a pavement was not a cause, because God is the only cause, and He causes good alone. These words from the 91st Psalm came clearly to thought, "He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone (or in my case, a pavement!)." (Ps. 91: 11, 12).
When I got home, it seemed wise to clean the knee and cover the affected area with a dressing, all the while staying closely with Mrs. Eddy's instruction to "look away from the body into Truth and Life, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality" (S&H 261: 2-4). By the evening, the whole incident had gone from thought, and that night I slept soundly. When I next looked at the knee, all was well and the healing was complete.
For this 'pearl of great price', Christian Science, I am immensely grateful.