MOST people are aware that they have certain rights as citizens, consumers, workers. But these same people might be surprised to learn they also have a right to health -- a God-given right. Proof of this is found in the healing work Christ Jesus did and promised that his followers would do. The Master healed countless individuals who were being deprived of their physical wellbeing, showing that sickness is a violation of our inherent right as children of Godto experience harmony in every aspect of our lives.
An example of this is given in the thirteenth chapter of Luke, which tells of a woman so infirm she couldn't even lift herself up.1 Even though she had been in this condition for eighteen years, Jesus restored her to complete freedom through his understanding of God's law. Would the Way-shower have used his knowledge of divine law to remove physical ills if we had no God-derived right to be free from them?
You and I can avail ourselves of the healing power Jesus employed. What we need is a demonstrable grasp of what he knew about God and man, and here the teachings of Christian Science are invaluable. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of this Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: `Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!' Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the `glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right.''2
Underlying Jesus' words and deeds was eternal divine law, which we all can learn to apply. Through prayer that springs from an understanding of God as the perfect, totally good Principle of the universe, and of man's actual nature as His spiritual image, we can experience genuine health.
The concept of man as spiritual and indestructible is contrary to what the five material senses would have us believe is true of ourselves and others. Man's spiritual status may seem far-fetched and unattainable. But the fact remains that the true selfhood of us all is incorporeal, diseaseless, never helpless. Our real being is the offspring of God, infinite Spirit. We live in Spirit and are eternally above and apart from physicality and suffering. Wholeness is the very essence of God's nature, and it is individualizedin His image, man. We demonstratesound health as we progressively giveup through prayer and purification of thought the materialistic, mortal concept of man and awake to the spiritual reality. As we gain a correct, incorporeal view of man, we come to realize that sickness or inharmony of any kind is not a partof our real selfhood. That's why the spiritual truth of man is basic to healing. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, -- perfect God and perfect man, -- as the basis of thought and demonstration.''3
Even when a physical condition is severe and has gone on for many years, freedom can come. Someone I know had been troubled since she was a teen-ager with eczema, a skin condition covering her hands and arms, which not even specialists had been able to treat successfully. She was a young mother with small children, and the suffering seemed almost unbearable at times. This woman had just begun studying Christian Science and knew something of the spiritual truths contained in its textbook, Science and Health.
One evening she was thinking about some of these truths, and it suddenly became clear to her that this disease couldn't have been created by an allloving God, that His law of only good for His children didn't support it. And she gained this important insight: the condition had never been part of her true, spiritual being! The illumination was so great, and the recognition of herself as she actually was -- eternally whole and free -- so vivid, that the sores began disappearing that very evening. Within a week there wasn't a trace of the problem she had struggled with for so many years.This healing occurred over thirty years ago and has remained permanent.
Healings like this (and they are taking place today) encourage us to claim and prove our God-given right to be well.
1See Luke 13:11-13. 2Science and Health, p. 227. 3Ibid., p. 259.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. Psalms 145:14