'Send now prosperity': a response to unemployment

A Christian Science perspective.

Although the United States government statistics show unemployment numbers decreasing in 36 states, nationwide the jobless rate still hovers around 10 percent. And although some numbers indicate a positive trend for the US economy as a whole, forecasts for the US labor market put the unemployment rate above 10 percent through June 2010 (Bloomberg.com).

And then there’s Detroit. Officially, the Motor City faces almost 30 percent unemployment. But the Detroit News reports that local officials paint an even bleaker picture. The Bureau of Labor Statistics for unemployment doesn’t include part-time employees seeking full-time jobs or people who’ve simply given up after a long search for work. When factoring in those real-life numbers, experts put Detroit’s unemployment rate as high as 45 percent.

For Americans, it’s hard to imagine a US city where almost half the population is either underemployed or jobless. And it’s also hard to imagine, especially for those who have jobs or have never faced unemployment, the toll such economic failure takes on individuals and families. In a country used to decades of growth and abundance, it’s hard to imagine an entire city fending off such futility and despair. But hearts everywhere go out to those in Detroit and elsewhere who face the effects of a doom-and-gloom economy. And that compassion extends to include millions of people beyond the US.

During difficult times, where does one turn for help? Is there something more concrete than empathy that those feeling helpless can look for? Something truly practical that anyone can do to help lift themselves or their friends – or even strangers in a faraway city – out of the valley? Something with the power to bring about genuine, major transformation?

Christian Science says “yes,” for the Bible assures, throughout all time, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

Which means that people can find a way out of the darkness – whether that involves illness, relationships, finances, or work. And every person can help or receive help, immediately, by affirming that God, divine Love, is actively and effectively providing everyone everywhere palpable refuge, strength, and light – always. Love’s Christ-light of rescue and comfort, which Jesus role-modeled for all time, is readily available to all. Right now.

For over 125 years, since Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science and explained it in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," countless people have found relief and healing by turning to divine Love. They’ve drawn from Love’s deep well of metaphysical inspiration to discern practical solutions to seemingly intractable challenges. And Christian Science continues today to help people as they rely on God’s sustaining presence and saving power. For example, through the lens of Christian Science, these words of the Bible turn from a desperate plea into bold, confident expectation: “Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity” (Ps. 118:25).

Webster’s Dictionary defines “prosperity” as “the condition of being successful or thriving; especially: economic well-being.” And that’s exactly what those need who are facing decline in Detroit and other places around the world. Everyone everywhere needs and deserves prosperity. And it can be gained by understanding and affirming through metaphysical, Scientific prayer that nothing can block Love’s provision of well-being: Nothing can obstruct divine Mind’s expression of a healthy, thriving economy.

One of Mrs. Eddy’s students, Adelaide Still, reminisced: “After she [Mrs. Eddy] passed on I found, pasted in the back of her Science and Health, a piece of paper with the following on it, ‘Whenever there seems to be a need or lack in your experience, this simply indicates the scientific fact that this seeming need is already supplied by God’s gracious abundance. Then give thanks with your whole heart because you have learned in Christian Science that God’s supply is on hand.’ Most of this was in my writing, but Mrs. Eddy had written in the last few words and signed it” (M. Adelaide Still, “Reminiscences of the Time I Spent in Mrs. Eddy’s Home, May, 1907 to December, 1910,” The Mary Baker Eddy Collection).

Contrary to the way events in our lives sometimes appear, the metaphysical reality is this: Help is at hand. Not at some later moment, but now. God’s gracious abundance is our very well-being, and we can see it manifested in every form required – from money to food to shelter, from courage to opportunity for gainful employment. We each can acknowledge and earnestly affirm this, and expect to see a human effect.

Today, we can all join together in prayer. The fully employed, the underemployed, and the unemployed can unite and give thanks with our whole hearts “that God’s supply is on hand.” And we can anticipate tangible proof.

Adapted from an editorial the Christian Science Sentinel.

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