Dealing with 'downward mobility'

A Christian Science perspective.

By

I read about the experience of eight friends who meet for dinner once a week. They trade jokes, books, and clothes, and help each other fix broken appliances and hopes. Among them are an engineer, a hairdresser, a pastor, and an ultrasound technician (see “Dinner for Eight,” Newsweek.com).

They are people experiencing “downward mobility”; they haven’t been financially insecure before. For these people, education, experience, and energy are no longer equivalent to job, home, and income security.

I ask myself if my prayers for the economy and about this new phenomenon can have any significant healing influence. Unequivocally, yes. My own and others’ experiences have shown me that prayer to the one ever-present and all-powerful Father-Mother God brings the confidence that He-She is always tenderly caring for each of us. No one facing any problem, including the current economic downturn, is outside the shepherding and safekeeping of God, who the Bible tells us is Love itself (see I John 4:16).

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As I pray to feel God’s encompassing, sheltering security, I think of the story of Job in the Bible. Job was a prosperous man with a large family and thousands of animals. Without warning, he was plunged into a world of deprivation, losing everything – his possessions, family, and health.

Job was sorely tested, but he wouldn’t reject God or accept that he’d done something to cause his own troubles. His deep desire to know God led him to grasp more firmly than ever the living presence of divine government. Even before everything was finally restored to him, he gained a peace and greater trust that was grounded in an understanding that God is the only power and is in control of all circumstances and conditions.

Job’s story prompted me to think about what belongs to all of us as God’s sons and daughters and is not subject to loss. As right and natural as it is to have a home, financial security, and satisfying work, it is most important to understand the underlying goodness of these things as being in God as Spirit who has created each of us in His image and likeness. This spiritual identity – the only one we really have – is not flesh and bones, subject to losses, rebounds, and plummets into poverty. Because God is also unchanging Principle, the essence of all that we hold close to our hearts is lasting and untouched by chance.

Praying on this spiritual foundation can result in regaining or finding a new home, receiving unexpected resources, or discovering new talents and how to use them. Moment by moment, all of us can feel the nurturing and uncondemning support of our Father-Mother in all difficulties, including the current economic situation.

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science as well as the Monitor, wrote in her major book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his” (p. 302). This message of Love’s bountifulness and our inseparability from it gives good reason not to give up. With this conviction, we can expect solutions to the economic downturn and any other challenge we face.

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