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SAFETY IN A COLLAPSED BUILDING
As I recall my position, it seems that had I fallen an eighth of an inch farther in any direction I would have met with instant death or mutilation. My body was extended, immovable, under the two rows of seats below the row in which I had been sitting; and my back was so close to a fallen beam that my coat was caught under it, and had to be cut from my body at the time of my rescue. My head fell immediately next to the steel base of a chair, face down, with my arms crossed under my forehead in such a way as to leave a little space for breathing. Had I not been impelled to turn when I rose to my feet, I would have fallen with my face upward; and the fallen plaster would have made it impossible for me to breathe. As it was, the plastering completely encased my head and shoulders, except for this small breathing space; and I found, after an hour or so, that by moving two fingers on my right hand I was able to dislodge the plastering surrounding it in such a way as to let in a stream of air. One leg was pinned against the steel support of a chair, exposing my knee, so that when the rescuers reached me they were able to locate me.
Hearing my voice, they held a torch at an aperture they had made in the flooring, and asked me if I could see the light. I answered in the affirmative; and upon being questioned as to where I lay, I told them that they could probably discover me by my knee showing white in the darkness. This enabled them to save a great deal of time in my rescue, and also, probably, to effect it with much less peril to myself. It was seven o'clock in the morning before I was finally removed from the debris, fully an hour and a half after the rescuers first discovered me and began the work of removing the wreckage over me, and ten hours after the collapse of the theater.
Through it all I was sustained by the understanding of the nature and power of God, gained through the study of Christian Science; so that even when the rescuers were plunging their axes into the flooring above my head I had absolutely no sense of fear. The only ill effects I seemed to suffer from the experience were due to the circulation being cut off from my limbs for so many hours; but the resulting weakness and soreness were overcome through the work of a Christian Science practitioner, and I am now (March 31, 1922) perfectly well, and show no effects of shock.
My gratitude for this wonderful manifestation of the divine presence, and its availability at all times, is boundless.
I wish to add to my daughter's testimony, as given above, my own expression of thanksgiving for her great deliverance, and for the knowledge of God as revealed through Mrs. Eddy's great discovery, the greatest discovery in human history.
When news of the theater disaster reached us, we knew that our daughter was probably buried in the ruins, I turned instantly to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, knowing that there was but one way in which it was possible for me to help her. My eye caught a statement concerning reality which gave me solid ground for my work. I turned steadfastly away from every obtruding thought of her as mangled or imprisoned or suffering, and clung to the freedom and activity and indestructibility of Spirit. Every suggestion of fear was ruled out with the thought, Now is no time to let go; now is the time to hold on. Thanks be to God for the "spiritual laws emanating from the invisible and infinite power and grace" (Science and Health, p. 118). Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through Christ, the living Truth!
I have had many proofs of the efficacy of Christian Science to meet human need, and am persuaded that the one thing worth striving for is a working knowledge of this Science of Christ.
Luella Burson Fouts
Christian Science Sentinel, November 18, 1922
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