The news media are keenly following the current debate on healthcare reform in the United States, frequently pointing out that though many countries provide some sort of universal health coverage, none is perfect.
An issue that keeps popping up is the political debate over insurance for people with "preexisting conditions." One of the arguments is that the current healthcare system leaves so many people behind. Millions have medical conditions that existed before they applied for or enrolled in new health insurance policies. Such conditions can range from heart disease to cancer, although even relatively minor conditions like hay fever, asthma, or previous sports injuries can trigger high premiums or denials of coverage. There is real concern that discrimination on the part of insurance companies will plunge people into more emotional and financial despair without the proper care they desire and deserve.
The question of living with a threatening health label, and the discrimination and depression that can go along with it, is worthy of everyone's prayers and attention.
The Christian Science perspective is unique and offers an entirely different solution. It takes up the argument at its source, by questioning the very acceptance of "preexisting conditions." It emphasizes instead that no one need be left without hope or the care he or she may require, because at the very heart of each individual's existence is the fact that he or she is spiritual – untouched and untouchable by disease and its labels.
Prayer provides long-term benefits by truly reforming the way health is considered. Christian Science reasons out from the account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, in which God made us in His likeness – which means healthy and as perfect as He is. It follows that there cannot be a preexisting condition of disease or discord, because this was never part of God's design for His creation.
The one infinite Mind constantly provides the newness of life and of spirit that lifts one out of the past, out of a physical definition of identity, and affirms the preexistent and present wholeness of all that God made.
Healing frequently comes when one is not caught up in measuring progress by the passage of time. It comes – often instantly. It comes when we free ourselves from the belief of life outside all-embracing Spirit. When we accept that we are not matter-based beings subject to accidents of birth, heredity, or imperfect history of any kind. God never mandated that anyone be trapped in a cycle of suffering. No one is destined to be the victim of a recurring problem.
Jesus' healings provide the basis for such confidence. Think, for example, of the Bible account in which a woman had hemorrhaged for 12 years, despite the help of doctors. Yet when she touched Jesus' robe, she was cured instantly; her medical history was wiped out (see Matt. 9:20–22).
Or, consider the invalid who had waited 38 years for healing beside the pool at Bethesda. His medical record of suffering was erased when Jesus recognized his readiness to be healed spiritually and simply told him to pick up his bedroll and walk (see John 5:1–9).
These healings illustrate the spiritual fact – still true today – that no matter how trapped one might feel because of the duration of a disease or its emphasis on incurability, God's message of health and wholeness is here, now, to heal every conceivable form of illness and the claims to reality and fatality it sets forth. Christian Science calls this message, the Christ. Jesus demonstrated its healing power.
Mary Baker Eddy discovered the divine laws of healing that Jesus practiced, and shared them with the world in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where she explained that "matter disappears under the microscope of Spirit" (p. 264). When one's thought is centered on the completeness and power of divine Spirit, any other supposed power or influence drops away. "Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies," she explained. "It changes the secretions, expels humors, dissolves tumors, relaxes rigid muscles, restores carious bones to soundness" (p. 162).
Infinite Spirit does not include a single element that can malfunction, become diseased, or deteriorate. The one and only Cause did not create and does not support such conditions. Radiant good health is the permanent condition of God, and since each of us is made in His likeness, this is our only and perfect condition in the past, present, and future.
The only unchangeable preexisting condition is the spiritual perfection that God has given all of us. For those seeking answers in this debate, we offer a perspective that will reform lives and healthcare in unforeseen ways.
From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.