MOST of us treasure individuality. We value our own and other people's distinct qualities and talents. We may even have an intuitive understanding that God is the originator and preserver of each identity in His universe, that He cares for each one individually. Yet it's sometimes easy to lose sight of that divine care and of the value of individuality when the news tells us so much about large-scale tragedies. We hear not only about famine in certain areas of the world, about the devastation resulting from earthquakes and other disasters, but about unemployment statistics and poverty affecting millions of people.
We may wonder, where is God in times of misfortune? Is it possible for people simply to become statistics, no longer valuable, no longer cared for? Are we unwittingly thinking of ourselves as a kind of statistic, one of a mass of people with a common problem, whether physiological, environmental, or financial? If so, we may need to realize more deeply that we have an individual, indestructible relationship to our creator--that every person is, in truth, God's perfect, spiritual likeness.
Appearances, of course, insist that we're separate from God, living on our own in a material world, subject to its cruel injustices. But there is a God, and He is infinite, almighty Love, as the Bible teaches. We must, then, be more than destructible mortals, inevitable victims. And we must have recourse to our creator for the well-being we seek.
Christ Jesus provided incomparable proof that we can turn confidently to God's power and love. Clearly, the Way-shower didn't view man as a statistic or a victim, but as the loved child of God. His words in Matthew, "the very hairs of your head are all numbered, point to everyone's individual relationship to the one creator as His cherished offspring. Jesus' words point to God's care for each one's needs. According to Luke's Gospel, Jesus once assured his followers, "Fear not, little flock; for it i s
your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
If we hear of a challenge facing large numbers of people, perhaps something that appears to be wiping out individual value and denying the creator's care, we don't have to feel powerless. Our prayers can help those in need as we clearly realize that each individual has a direct relationship to God, that each one is inseparable from God's constant love. No one, in truth, is a statistic. Each one's genuine, God-created individuality is governed by divine law, cared for by God throughout eternity. This
truth, deeply realized, can be a practical support to those who, more than anything else, need to feel God's presence and care.
Insisting on the power of prayer may seem like wishful thinking in view of the severe challenges people face. But it's not. Because God really is the all-powerful creator of man and the universe, the source of eternal, unfailing justice and love, it's profoundly practical to depend on His perfect government of man.
No one is truly one of a multitude of mortals all in the same leaky boat. Each of us is individually cared for by God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes reassuringly in No and Yes, "God holds man in the eternal bonds of Science,--in the immutable harmony of divine law.
Clearly, this isn't always easy to prove. But as we strive to be faithful to the one God in our prayers for humanity, and to be faithful in our own reliance on His law to care for us, we'll inevitably see concrete evidence of that care--in ways perfectly suited to individual needs.