Sometimes we may think we don't deserve to be healed. Maybe we've made what seems like an awful mistake. Or repeated failure, hardship, or hatred has been beating us down to believing that we aren't good enough to be healed. Some people are afraid of being jinxed--or of being a jinx. Or maybe the problem has come back so many times, we're ready to give up. If our heart and mind are discouraged, expectancy of good may be the furthest thing from our thought.
But we don't have to give in to discouragement. Each of us does deserve to be healed, no matter what! Accepting and understanding our individual worth and value don't start with a mortal definition of identity. Worth is not defined or limited by income, nationality, sex, or age. Our individual worth and value derive from our relation to God. Our identity is defined by God, good. As Paul describes man's relation to God, in the book of Acts: ``We are the offspring of God'' (17:29). So we are worthy of God's care because we are the beloved children of God. ``Our Father'' as Christ Jesus refers to God in the Lord's Prayer, is the Father of believers and nonbelievers--of all of us. God doesn't love some of His children and hate others. And God doesn't provide good for some children and neglect others. This is important to remember especially in the face of what seems to be evidence of the tragedy touching some lives, because understanding this helps us break through tragedy to healing.
Here's an example. I had been talking with a relative who had been unemployed for a long time. She was behind on her rent and was terribly discouraged. She sounded as though she didn't expect ever again to experience a normal life, filled with abundant good and satisfying activity. Losing her home seemed to be a question of when, not if.
I had been reading the Bible and praying. I was struck by the importance of claiming our actual relation to God as His creation, spiritual man. Our value, worth, and our deserving of good belong to us because we are His children. We do have a right to be healed.
Understanding, and claiming our relation to God and our worth as His spiritual children bring about a normal adjustment of a situation to harmony. After that conversation, whenever this relative came to mind, I thought of her as God's beloved child, not a hopeless mortal; as worthy of healing, not mired in poverty or hopelessness. During a later conversation, I encouraged her to accept the reality of her spiritual identity and to acknowledge that she was worthy of good and normalcy in her daily life. My relative kept praying and looking for work. Within a short while she had found part-time employment. A few months later she had a full-time job in a company where she is both happy and appreciated. Her home, too, is more beautiful and secure than it had been before.
Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, knew well how mankind longs for healing of poverty, hopelessness, grief, illness. ``Prayer'' is the title of the first chapter of Science and Health. In this chapter she asks a question many have grappled with: ``Does Deity interpose in behalf of one worshipper, and not help another who offers the same measure of prayer?'' (p. 12)
The answer to this question is the one Christ Jesus showed so many times during his healing ministry. He healed men, women, and children. He healed people of different nationalities and social situations. Just so today, we each have the right to ask for--and receive--healing, because we are God's children. We have the right to ask for the inheritance of good God has for each and every one of His children. As Mrs. Eddy assures us in that same chapter of Science and Health, ``In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as `a very present help in trouble.' Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals'' (pp. 12-13). Each of us is worthy of, and can feel, the tender, healing touch of God, divine Love.