Help where Katrina struck

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

When I was first on my own financially, funds would run out between paychecks. Once I was really hungry and found a $10 bill on the street. I looked around to find the owner, but no one was there. To me it was a miracle meeting my needs. Many years later, when a bank refused me a loan, to my great surprise, a friend wrote out a check for $1,000, the amount I needed.

Whether our needs are met in a way that seems miraculous, through the generosity of others, or from our own efforts, it is really God, the supreme good, the source and influence of all good, who is meeting our needs.

This recognition inspires my prayers today, this national day of prayer for those whose traditional means of support has been cut off by hurricane Katrina. Because each one, in true being, has an unbreakable relationship with the infinite God, all may find their needs generously met.

The Bible assures us of this truth in these words, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). This does not mean that Jesus would supply the needs of the Philippians, to whom this message was addressed, because he was no longer on earth. But it is the Christ, the truth of God's eternal care for His offspring, which Jesus expressed, that would always supply everything needed.

It is the same Christ, Truth, that is meeting the needs of the hurricane survivors today, healing not only their bodies but also all their distressed conditions.

"It is not well to imagine," the Christian Science textbook states, "that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 494).

Jesus performed what are often called miracles in meeting human needs. At one time he fed 5,000 men "beside women and children," with five loaves of bread and two fish. Another time he fed 4,000 (see Matt. 14:15-21 and Mark 8:1-9). Not much is recorded as to how he did this, but many have found it significant that Jesus thanked God before the food actually appeared.

Whether one considers these biblical narratives literally or as symbols of God's omnipotent care, the lesson is the same. Out of Love's infinite supply, all needs are met.

Immediately preceding the sentence quoted earlier from Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." This was no idle statement, but grew out of her own experience in establishing a church, founding this newspaper and four other periodicals, as well as writing the textbook of Christian Science and other books and giving talks and sermons.

The conviction that God, divine Love, is ever present to meet all needs strengthens our prayers for the survivors of Katrina. This doesn't preclude offering our homes or from making donations of food, clothing, and money. Rather, our recognition that those who may have lost everything are being cared for, exchanges pity for the intelligent compassion that meets exactly the human need.

Those charged with the responsibility for directly supplying those who have lost everything will be guided by this divine Love to do the right thing at the right time. There are long-term needs to be met as well as immediate ones. Recognizing God to be not only the source but also the giver of what is needed enables us to trust that this loving and unlimited supply will be available in the weeks, months, and years ahead to rebuild physically and socially.

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.

Psalms 32:7

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