REGARDLESS of circumstances and appearances to the contrary, man is, in fact, freeborn. How can this be when there's so much evidence to deny it, when so many are faced with oppression and seemingly insurmountable limitations? Man's freedom is the spiritual reality established by God, and therefore in a very profound sense it's the only reality. God's offspring are not limited, oppressed mortals but spiritual beings, endowed by the creator of all with liberty. Obviously, this would be nothing more than an idealistic, impractical theory were it not provable.

Happily, we have Biblical authority to claim our freedom and to demonstrateit in human life. Christ Jesus assured those who followed his teaching and example, ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''1 What Jesus knew so well and demonstrated so dynamically in his healing ministry was the simple truth of man's spiritual selfhood and unity with his creator, infinite divine Love.

I remember one time when I needed to claim my own inherent freedom. During a very busy working day I found myself suffering severe attacks of periodic pain, which interfered with, and threatened to stop, my work. This work was pressing, and as I was constantly on the telephone I was unable to devote the necessary time to pray about the situation as I had been taught to do in times of trouble.

At the end of the day the difficultypersisted, and driving home in rushhour traffic posed a challenge. However, I knew from experience that the healing truth was right at hand to annul the lie of pain and distress. The Bible represents God as saying, ``...before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.''2

As I drove into my garage, I resolved to stay in the car until I had overcome this condition through prayer. I turned tomy divine Father-Mother God, earnestly claiming my unity with perfect Love, the only real power. I strove to realize that I was, right then and there, not a frail human suffering distressing symptoms but the loved child of God, the object of His omnipotent care -- in fact, the perfect spiritual reflection of a perfect creator, regardless of what the physical senses were saying.

As I quietly listened for God's pure, healing thoughts, these words written by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, came to mind: ``Man is free born: he is neither the slave of sense, nor a silly ambler to the so-called pleasures and pains of self-conscious matter. Man is God's image and likeness; whatever is possible to God, is possible to man as God's reflection.''3

Here was the answer to my prayer. I knew this healing truth applied to me and joyfully acknowledged that I was, and always had been, freeborn, free to express perfection and joy. I was able to leave the car after a few moments without pain, rejoicing in my God-given freedom.

So what had happened? Had an all-powerful God decided to relieve me, His child, of this trouble? No. The infinite knows only His own perfect universe, where ills of any kind have no place or power. He knows only the reality of man as His likeness. As a result of prayer, I realized that anything He did not create or sanction could not really touch me or be part of my experience. I saw that in no way was I shut out from God's love but was inseparable from Him as His beloved expression, free and under His law of perfect harmony, which supersedes all other so-called laws. This clear sense of what really was true, of perfect spiritual reality, opened my thought to the omnipresence of God's power, and I was healed.

There are many kinds of enslavement -- to drugs, poverty, criminality, disease, injustice, fear, and so forth -- which could never have been inflicted by an all-loving creator on His creation. Freedom is our divine right, and fetters of any kind (even those forged by our own wrongdoing, which may be the hardest to break) must fall as we claim our God-given right to freedom and live in harmony with divine law. Acknowledging our inseparability from our divine source, we increasingly know what freedom means, and we experience more and more of its blessing right where we are.

1John 8:32. 2Isaiah 65:24. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 183.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

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