The day I stopped thinking of myself as poor
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
We were eating tripe, cutting back on hospitality, buying only what was necessary, and I felt poor. My husband had left his salaried job to become a partner in an architectural firm, when a recession hit and the offer of a partnership was withdrawn. I had recently left a teaching job for work that was very fulfilling but paid a tiny salary, in a Christian Science Reading Room.
Once while I was walking to work, it occurred to me that it was wrong, even hypocritical, for me to think of myself as poor, especially while working in this store. Each day I was selling books that showed the way out of lack, or poverty. The Bible was there, and it has many examples of overcoming poverty. I especially love Elijah and Elisha and treasured the stories about how they each restored supply to widows. Jesus' feeding of the multitude was another example I valued and thought of frequently.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, also available in this store, often gave me insight into these Bible stories, into Jesus' life, and a better understanding of spiritual supply. Then there were also for sale a weekly and a monthly magazine with articles and testimonies about the healing of lack.
I realized I needed to use these treasures more fully and to put the ideas contained in these books to greater practice in order to stop thinking of myself as poor.
One day while at work I sat down with a pen and pile of paper. I began by valuing God's protective care. I thought of God's love that it is so vast it's impossible to comprehend all of it. Then I began to record some of the wealth so obvious in my experience.
A definition for God given in Science and Health seemed a good starting point: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (pg. 465). Then I wrote down the evidences of supply that I felt came to me from each of those seven names for God. Certainly Love was expressed in the caring love of my husband, through friends' neighborly acts, by smiles of passersby, through forgiveness, through the child's hand that held mine. This was an almost endless list.
I expanded the list with ways in which each of the names for God was obviously expressed in my life a steady flow of pure, fresh ideas, bringing vitality and freshness to my activities; the turnaround from non-approval and of criticism of others to the perception and the appreciation of goodness; the desire to continually progress in my understanding of spirituality; the sparkle of humor shared; the beauty and integrity of friendship. This list went on for pages.
I didn't have time to go on, because I was kept busy selling and sharing with others our united opportunities for growth. Later, I continued the list, and it still continues today.
I didn't go home that day and find a big check in the mail. But since that day, there haven't been struggles with poverty-stricken thinking, and I haven't had any inclination to expect lack. My husband and I accepted that we would always have enough to supply us with whatever we needed. And that is how it has proved to be. Without being slaves to a checkbook or investment-watching, we expected that there would be an ample supply of good in our life good that might come in the form of ideas, time, money, or whatever.
The thought of being poor was replaced with gratitude for the unending supply of good in our lives. "Poverty" thinking ceased and was replaced by gratitude and spiritual usefulness that continues to grow.
Mrs. Eddy wrote, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (pg. 494). I know that this daily supply of good is available to all. God is not partial in His blessings.
Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with grace in
your hearts to the Lord.