From birth until the time I was in first grade, mainstream medicine was my family's choice for health care. My doctor, Doctor Syme, was a friendly, gentle man who I saw for checkups twice a year. When I was about six years-old a relative introduced Christian Science to my father. Just a couple of months later, quite a significant – actually, life-changing – event occurred.
One weekend my father and I were skiing up on Sandia Peak, near Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was a long time ago and ski equipment wasn't designed as well as it is now. As I was traversing across the hill, I fell and my leg spun completely around without the binding releasing. I remember lying there in the snow crying and seeing a ski patrolman stop right near me. Through my tears, I tried to ask him to spin my leg back around. He wouldn't do that of course, concerned that he might injure me further. Finally, they got my ski off, and my father transported me down the hill and quickly got me into our car. I still was crying and noticed that my leg was bent at a funny angle.
Although we'd only learned of Christian Science a short time ago, my Father and I felt comfortable turning to prayer right away for healing. My father took me home instead of to our doctor. I remember so well sitting on our living room floor with my leg on a pillow. My brother was there, too, watching television. But my father was practising "Christian Science treatment" for my leg. I remember him praying quietly, reading the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
What happened next changed my life completely. I didn't really comprehend what my father was doing, but I could tell that he was praying with all his heart. I later learned that Christian Science treatment involves a deep, divine, listening kind of prayer that brings the power of God's love to any human need, including something this serious.
Despite the sound of the TV, I decided I could quiet my thought so I could listen to God too. Soon, I began to feel, without reserve, all the love, and power that were behind my Father's prayer. Without thinking, I stood up and walked across the living room to change the channel on the television set. I was completely and permanently healed!
From then on, as you could imagine, whenever I needed help about anything, I wanted prayer. I learned in Christian Science Sunday School there in Albuquerque that my healing wasn't an exception. I talked to lots of people and learned that there is a long, strong, record of spiritual healing for all kinds of illness, even serious accidents like mine.
Now, as a father myself, I would not hesitate in finding the best means of treatment for an illness or accident in our family. Over the years, I've gained a growing confidence in Christian Science, because of the many healings I and my family have had.
To see God as "divine Principle" to me means God is a tangible, active good in my life–a healing principle or law I can always count on. I'm coming to know God as wholly spiritual–not as a person, or as anything material or physical. And I'm more clearly seeing myself, and everyone as included in God's spiritual creation, as flawless, whole, loving, and harmonious. As unusual as this may seem, my growing spiritual view of God and His creation is not something ethereal, or "out there" but is very real, permanent, and good.
And so prayer, to me, is not merely asking God for something, but becoming more aware of myself as God actually made me, as He preserves me and knows me—as the Bible says, 'in His image and likeness.' This kind of prayer brings about a change in my consciousness, from believing that we're all just so much flesh and bones—a product and victim of chance—to glimpsing something of the spiritual fact that we're the inherently good and entirely harmonious creation of the all-harmonious, all-good Creator. This mental change removes fear and suffering, restores calm, and the mind and body resume their normal action and functions.
Such prayerful spiritualizing of thought can also be applied to bring harmony and healing to any troubled situation or discordant relationship in our lives, and for providing for any human need. For me, and many others healing through Christian Science is not just about healing our bodies, or improving our lives. The real benefit is gaining a clearer, more spiritual understanding of God as the loving Father and Mother of us all.
I love the fact that God's care and love are infinite and impartial. No one is excluded from the benefits of His healing power and affection. My first healing as a child showed me that God's powerful truths and laws transcend age and experience. It's nice that they are a present help, not only for adults, but for every child. Like Paul in the Bible, I too, surely have felt the kind of gratitude that makes me say, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift," (II Cor. 9:15).