The television news featured a woman who was collecting and sending aid to those in need overseas. She and her family had collected clothing, books, food, kitchen utensils, and other items to send to countries hit by disaster.
Her home was piled high with boxes waiting to be shipped. Even during the reporter's interview, people were arriving in cars and small trucks with more boxes of items to be processed.
What made the scene so heartening was the abundant flow of goods coming in and going out of her home, which in itself was very modest. The goods did not originate with her, but came from those wanting to help. She was merely the channel to make sure those items got to the less fortunate.
Whether one is sending food and clothing, physically being there in order to help, writing a check, or offering earnest prayers for those in need, the supply does not have to come just from the individual. When one is praying for God to help those in need, the sense of abundance can be so much greater than one's personal capacity - just as the woman whose simple house was stacked high with other people's contributions.
Jesus' miraculous feeding of more than 5,000 people who had stayed to listen to his preaching shows that he was not the personal source of the good he shared. What he and his disciples had on hand was very modest. The Bible reports, "And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude" (Matt. 14:19).
"And looking up to heaven, he blessed." That simple. Blessing God for His goodness and care was recognition of the endless supply and availability of that divine goodness.
To the degree that we honor God as the source of all good, and understand that our world neighbors can feel the benevolence of that universal good, to that degree our prayers are answered. And to that degree we are witnesses to divine Love flowing out to the benefit of those in need.
Because prayer is not limited to a bank account or dependent on the economy, we can offer our prayers to others around the world generously, freely, abundantly. We can pray as often and as plentifully as we wish. It can flow as freely as the stream of goods through that woman's modest home.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote of the impartiality and universality of prayer, and of its blessing to everyone: "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. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters' " ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pages 12-13).
If people are very rich and want to share their wealth with others, they don't need to fear that they will lose the good they have honestly earned. There is no penalty for expressing and sharing our good with those less fortunate.
If people have nothing much to share, they can still open their thought with love and the expectancy that divine Love will provide a way for goodness to be available for those less fortunate. Sometimes a schoolchild's simple handwritten note can mean as much to someone in need as a warm blanket or bowl of rice or a new tractor. Everyone has something to give, and unselfish love releases what is ready to be given.
The key is to care. To care as the woman in her modest home cared about people thousands of miles from her. To care as Christ Jesus cared about those hungry thousands right in front of him. Care is the key unlocking the door to the divine good waiting to be released in our lives.
Again, there is no loss to the giver because all good comes from God blessing those who give as well as those in need.
The blessing of the Lord,
it maketh rich,
and he addeth
no sorrow with it.