Rebuilding As the Waters Recede

NOW that the waters have (we hope) crested in the severe flooding of the midwestern United States, the story of battling the river gradually gives way to the story of communities pulling themselves together and beginning to heal. The patchwork quilt of government aid, insurance, personal savings, and charitable contributions will serve as an enormously helpful, albeit imperfect, safety net.

Too often, though, it seems at least a few families fall through the net. Perhaps a family lacks insurance. Or a farmer doesn't exactly fit the government's specifications for aid. What then?

Christ Jesus tells us of God's tender care for all His creation. He assures us, Matthew's Gospel records, ``Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.'' (10:29, 31). So it's natural to turn to the Almighty in prayer--seeking the kind of support that doesn't leave out a single sparrow, much less a single man or woman or child.

Christ Jesus' teachings help us see how to turn to God both to prevent catastrophes and to find sure and certain help in the aftermath of calamities. Because they are based on divine and universal law, Jesus' teachings are a promise of good for all, not just miraculous intervention intended to help a select few during his lifetime. Even the admission of this truth in prayer is a useful start. Divine help and care are for everyone.

Referring to God as divine Love, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``It is not well to imagine 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'' (p. 494). Next to this passage is the heading ``Inexhaustible divine Love.''

The flood waters will recede. The supply of good from God will never stop.

As we gain even a glimpse of the inexhaustible nature of divine Love--and understand something of the way God, Love, sustains us--our own resources are less prone to depletion and exhaustion because we are seeing our lives in spiritual terms. Purity, intelligence, love don't get swamped by floodwaters. These and other spiritual qualities will continue to be in demand--and available-- as the drying out, digging out, and rebuilding take place in the months to come.

Only that which is material becomes exhausted, breaks down, and fails. But Christian Science teaches that infinite, unwearied divine Love is pure Spirit--it is not in or of matter at all. Understanding this helps us to see that God's, divine Love's, allness challenges the very existence of matter at the deepest level. Hard as it may be to accept, at first, this metaphysical fact of God's allness and matter's consequent nonexistence means that when the vision, courage, and inspiration we need are based in

our understanding of God, Spirit, they are beyond the reach of the exhaustion and despair of material existence.

As the heartland of the United States starts the process of healing and rebuilding, caring people everywhere can continue to make a marked difference through their prayerful acknowledgment of God's presence. His inexhaustible love comes to us in a never-ending supply of spiritual insights, inspired solutions. And these ideas from God show us that we are on solid ground.

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