Spirituality and Human Needs
AS I was listening to reports during the recent conference of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, I was struck by how important economic stability is to peace in our world. And I saw how big a difference financial stability can make to individuals, too. During hard times it is easy to feel that our needs, which seem so pressing to us, are being ignored by the people in authority. And sometimes it's easy to feel helpless or to wonder if anyone cares.Christ Jesus must have encountered something of people's feeling that an individual doesn't have much worth or make any real difference. He addressed this concern in a number of ways. One was by pointing toward his own inseparability from God and showing others that they too had this unbreakable relationship. Through his healing works he certainly showed that God's power can be felt in human life through healing and regeneration. Jesus also wanted people to know their specific worth or importance to God and His love for them. For instance, Matthew's Gospel in the Bible reports his asking, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Jesus wasn't just saying that man had more economic value than a sparrow. He was recognizing the spiritual importance of man as the actual likeness of God. When we are able to see ourselves in this way, we gain a completely different perception of our worth. Instead of thinking that we are mortal beings, living and working within a finite frame of reference, we are recognizing that we are actually spiritual ideas of God, the divine Mind. This changed reference point enables us to pray in ways that will help us and others. For example, in my work at one time there was a great need for some additional help, but no money to hire more workers. For months, my staff and I struggled to do all that was needed. I prayed constantly to be shown how we could get more help. Then one day as I was praying, I suddenly realized that I was thinking of myself as a mortal, trying hard to persuade an impersonal Deity to come to my rescue! I immediately decided to change my stance and to pray, knowing that God, infinite Love, is already giving all good to man. I prayed to understand that in my true being as this perfectly spiritual man, I was already the recipient of this good. Within a very short time a student volunteered to help us with our work, and funds became available to hire someone else on an interim basis. This met all our immediate needs. As I thought further about this experience, I began to see that man, the spiritual expression of God, is essential to the divine creation. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, makes this clear in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She says, "God, without the image and likeness of Himself, would be a nonentity, or Mind unexpressed. He would be without a witness or proof of His own nature. When we face economic challenges, we are not powerless or forgotten. We can turn to prayer that recognizes our truly spiritual nature and our inseparability from God's love. As the children of God, we have full access to the good we need in order to express divine qualities such as harmony, joy, peace, intelligence, and love. Such prayer makes clear that each of us, no matter how modest his or her role in life may be, has full and rich value to God.