The temperature gauge on the car I had borrowed pointed to ''hot.'' As soon as it was safe, I pulled the car onto the shoulder of the highway and opened the hood to have a look.
I had unsealed hot radiators before, so I carefully took a rag and slowly turned the radiator cap. I stood back, away from the car engine, but I was not careful enough. Boiling water leaped from the radiator in every direction. My bare arm felt as if it were on fire and turned red.
I desperately reached out to God in prayer. It had become my custom as a lifelong student of Christian Science to seek God's healing care whenever I was seized with pain. So I scrambled back into the car and closed my eyes to pray.
Right away I felt God's presence. I glimpsed the great truth that God is always near. I was, as Paul once declared, ''willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.'' n1
I reasoned that if God is infinite and always present, only good could touch me. God would never allow an accident to enter His presence, which is characterized by harmony and safety. His thorough care is uninterrupted.
n1 II Corinthians 5:8.
I felt deeply sure of these spiritual facts. I did not feel a need for any human help, because I knew that the great Physician was with me.
Soon the pain in my arm began to diminish. I decided to continue my drive while maintaining close communion with God. Also, I was determined not to look at my arm. What I needed was to fill my thought with spiritual truth, with the reality of God's omnipresence and of man's wholeness and perfection as His spiritual image. When pain did come, I refused to believe that I could somehow be absent from God's comforting love.
It's clear from the Bible record that the master healer, Christ Jesus, refused to believe the evidence brought forward by the body. He contradicted pictures of disease and even death (see Mark 5:35-42, for example), because these are contrary to the government of God, which is totally good.
The teachings of Christian Science - the Science of Christianity discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy - emphasize the need to prayerfully contradict the evidence of accident or disease. The basis of this reversal is the spiritual fact, superseding what appears to the physical senses, that God, the creator of all, never makes or allows discord.
As Mrs. Eddy writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''In viewing the sunrise, one finds that it contradicts the evidence before the senses to believe that the earth is in motion and the sun at rest. As astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system, so Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes body tributary to Mind.''
She continues on the next page, ''Soul, or Spirit, is God, unchangeable and eternal; and man coexists with and reflects Soul, God, for man is God's image.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, pp. 119-120.
Each time I denied that accident or pain had control over me, I was implicitly affirming that God, infinite Soul, governed me. This brought great peace.
The healing came in less than an hour. The pain completely left, and the discoloration disappeared. By the time I reached my destination, the arm was normal in every respect. I thanked God for His unfailing love, and for the teachings of Christian Science, which had taught me to place full trust in His care. %?DAILY BIBLE VERSE I am the Lord that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26