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QUICK RESTORATION TO HEALTH
By the time I arrived at the house, probably forty minutes later, my son had been removed from the floor of the hall where he was first carried, washed, and bandaged round the disfigured parts of his face and head, and laid upon a couch. His first thought on regaining consciousness was a joy and thankfulness unspeakable that the face bending over him was that of a well-known Christian Science friend. He afterward expressed his feeling as one of great content, after the fearful turmoil of his confused thought, mingled with noise and expressions of horror. After an hour or two, with the work done in Christian Science and ordinary manual assistance, he was able to walk upstairs and was put into bed. For some days he lay there with what were pronounced double fractures in the shoulder, besides cuts and bruises, totally unable to speak on account of the condition of the tongue, but from the first hour able to write on paper or use the finger alphabet to convey his wants or his thoughts.
All this time there was no pain, only the discomfort from continually lying on his back, and a tight feeling across his chest and back which caused him to write one day: "I think a cart must have gone over my chest, I can feel the tracks." Until then he had not known the seriousness of the accident. After four days' silence, friends and relatives began to talk about his recovery; but remarks were made about Christian Scientists having no doctors, and the probability that, as they did nothing, the injury to his tongue would prove so serious he would never speak again. This fear came to my ears, through a sympathetic but skeptical relative. That same evening I told the practitioner of the fear which was going round, and worked to destroy in myself the fear that had so suddenly been aroused by these remarks.
During the early hours of the following morning the boy spoke in his sleep. The words were almost clearly articulated, sufficiently so to be heard by me on the other side of a large room. Those few words, the broken fragments of a dream, brought a comfort quite indescribable, and the fear of the preceding day was entirely destroyed. The words were written down on paper for fear of their being forgotten, but they had already made a greater impression than many a wiser saying has failed to do. Until that blessed moment the boy had not been able to utter a single word, and nourishment had to be inserted between the teeth at the side of the mouth. On the patient's waking, he was told that he could speak if he made the effort. He smiled incredulously, and twice tried to articulate without any great success. Then he was told the words he had uttered so clearly in his dream, and he smiled again, as much as to say, "I wish I could." Then a persistent effort to prove to him it was only mortal fear that was restraining him, followed by the constant affirmation of the truth against the seeming error, loosened his tongue, and he spoke at intervals during that day and each succeeding day, until speech became normal.
The whole convalescence was one long song of gratitude. Such a serious accident has seldom, if ever, been accompanied by days of such painless rest. A relative (a nurse in the military hospital at Portsmouth) came to visit him on the fifth day, and said she had never seen such a rapid recovery in her experience; that such a stage as she then witnessed was generally reached at the second or third week in hospitals. On the ninth day he went to the seaside, a journey of sixty-five miles, traveling alone. There have been many occasions for gratitude in this same household, but this case was peculiarly interesting; and the healing, though by no means instantaneous, was perfectly beautiful in every detail.
It has been wonderfully said by Mrs. Eddy that gratitude for the blessings we have makes us "fitted to receive more" (Science and Health, p. 3), and during my son's quick restoration to health, this same quality played no unimportant part, gratitude for the truth that heals, and for the loving unselfishness ceaselessly displayed by those who befriended him, also gratitude for the blessing of his happy environment. The boy silently realized this daily, perhaps constantly, from his first moment of consciousness; for his reply to an exclamation at his quick recovery was: "Well, I've been grateful all the time, and there's nothing so healing as gratitude."
These occasions for gratitude on the part of Christian Scientists are continual, but sometimes one instance, perhaps through peculiar circumstances, or through some special detail, may seem of greater significance than another. The boy in question was twenty-two years of age, and he rode his motor-bicycle again in four or five months without any fear. He was obliged to forego the rest of that football season, but renewed this sport and others the following winter.
Christian Science Sentinel, September 7, 1912
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