THE British poet William Blake wrote about two hundred years ago, "Pity would be no more / If we did not make somebody Poor . . . ." 1 These words may serve as a reminder to be concerned for the needs of others. In these days of multitudinous refugee problems, of poverty and destitution so often caused by wars and by ruthless and oppressive regimes, we may wonder whether the need for charities will ever cease. Calls for help seem unending.
Giving generously, when it is impelled by wisdom and compassion, is appropriate. The example of Christ Jesus to bless others supports charitable actions; one could say that Jesus was the most charitable man the world has ever known, because he constantly and effectively blessed others, by healing and redeeming them. His giving must have astounded those who beheld it. Interestingly, Jesus didn't give people money. But he blessed them beyond measure.
How was Jesus able to do this? By recognizing that God is the giver of all good; by knowing that God's provision is always secure, unfailing, undepleted, and joyful. God is infinite good. Unlike a human provider with a bank balance that can become depleted, God gives in a way that is infinite and continuous. God is always at hand. Therefore not one of His children is unprovided for, neglected, without needful supply. Jesus was successful in providing for human needs because he knew this so thoroughly. He was able to instruct people practically, so that they could obtain tax money and find catches of fish. He fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and two small fish. How?
He said more than once that he did the will of his Father. Knowing so clearly that God was his Father, he could see clearly that what was true for him was true for all of us. The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote this in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes,-Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply" (p. 206). Many people have proved this for themselves, by studying and practicing Christian Science.
It may be beyond human ingenuity to help feed and clothe multitudes-all the refugees and needy of the world- especially when world indifference to the plight of others seems an impregnable wall through which there is no chink. But Christian Science explains that it is the belief of life in matter, separate from God, that is the culprit. Any divisive view of God and man interferes with our well-being. Growth in the understanding that man is spiritual, not material, and that material life is not reality, naturally eliminates lack from thought and experience. Active recognition that God is the source of all good can result in more prosperity for individuals, and for the entire world. Thus we can help to lift the burden of lack from those who are struggling to find freedom.
As Jesus did before feeding the multitudes, we are free at this very moment to give thanks to God for His care of all His creation. The book of Luke records that "he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them . . ." (9:16). Lifting up our own thoughts to heaven-to the understanding that there can be no greed or victimization in God-is a way to pray for the world. It is not God's will for anyone to be rich at the expense of another. God's provision is constant for all, and can never be taken away from anyone.
1 "The Human Abstract."
God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having
all sufficiency in all things,
may abound to every good work.
II Corinthians 9:8
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