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  • Erin A.D. Fisher, C.S.

Prayer in the air!

Can we rely on God for help when traveling far from home? Read on to see how I experienced healing by relying on God's Word, His divine order, while I was traveling overseas.

About a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland with my husband for a family wedding, including a few days beforehand just to enjoy the place we were staying. We embarked on our trans-Atlantic flight late in the evening, and found it easy to fall asleep in the peaceful atmosphere the plane provided.

About an hour before we were to land, I awoke feeling very out of sorts, and thought I might be ill. As I considered making my way to the restroom, I realized it just wasn’t practical because my husband was asleep in the aisle seat next to me, and I thought I might collapse if I tried to stand up. So I began to pray.

As I had learned to do through my study and practice of Christian Science, I began by considering what was true about God, and about me as His divine image and likeness. I acknowledged that my entire being was in God, divine Spirit, not in a material body. (See Acts 17:28). I felt the sense that I was safe in God, divine Love, and found myself eager to affirm my exemption from distress, and to persist in this line of thought as long as was necessary to restore my sense of peace. After maybe ten minutes praying along these lines, the discomfort passed, and I felt at peace. I drifted back to sleep for a bit and woke up feeling refreshed as we were beginning our final descent.

As I was cherishing the thought of the lovely turnaround I had experienced, and was considering telling my husband about it, suddenly I began to experience sneezing and a runny nose. It was like someone had flipped a switch to start these symptoms, because there had been no sign of them before.

In light of the spiritual truth I had recognized earlier, I found the sudden onslaught of symptoms to be utterly ridiculous. So, I simply decided I would never agree with them — never agree that these symptoms were a part of my actual experience as God’s spiritual image and likeness. No matter how long they lasted (a concern I had immediately dismissed from thought), I would continue to affirm that they were only an illusion. I reasoned that since God made all (see John 1:3), and recognized the goodness of all that He made (see Genesis 1:31), that this apparent discordant condition had absolutely no reality. Therefore, it had no power to prevent me from having a full experience of love and joy as my husband and I explored a new country and spent time with our relatives — including meeting our infant twin nieces for the first time! I saw that this mortal picture of suffering, or at the least, of inconvenience, was entirely incongruous with the substance, the spiritual activity and purpose, of our trip — to be witnesses of divine Love.

Once we arrived at the cottage where we were staying, and went on a grocery run, I took the practical step of buying some tissues. But each time I used one, I affirmed that the runny nose was simply an error of belief, not the truth of my experience. Having worked this way for about a day and a half, I found I just didn't need the tissues anymore. With joy, I told my husband about both demonstrations, and the prayer that brought them about, and we went on to have a wonderful time with family and friends. In fact, this vacation was the most tranquil one I'd ever had, before or since.

I am so grateful that God gives us all the ability to witness His loving care. And I'm grateful to have proved for myself the truth of Mary Baker Eddy's statement in the Christian Science textbook: "Step by step will those who trust Him find that 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble'" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 444).

For more on these ideas, see also:

The Bible: Psalm 46

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: p. 12 and p. 390

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