The remarkable discovery of hidden reserves of water in a northwestern corner of Kenya brings the possibility and promise of a very different future for millions of Kenyans (Mike Pflanz, “Delaware-sized lake discovered beneath Kenya desert,” The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 11). I rejoiced to hear this good news and couldn’t help but view the discovery as an inspiration and model for spiritual practice.
The quality-of-life statistics in Kenya have been grim: More than 20 million people lack access to clean water, and farmers consistently struggle to raise crops without adequate irrigation. Despite these outward appearances, however, scientists have been able to identify a deep aquifer estimated to contain billions of gallons of the earth’s most precious resource.
How many times a day are we presented – often aggressively and repeatedly – with a sense of lack? Lack of health, peace, patience, opportunity, financial security, fulfilling companionship, meaningful employment ... the list could go on and on. Like the researchers in Kenya, however, we can choose to look beyond outward appearances to a deeper, spiritual reality.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, regularly looked to Christ Jesus as the best example of how to pray for the world. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she writes: “Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause” (p. 313).
How else could Christ Jesus have consistently performed such works of healing and restoration as feeding multitudes from apparently meager provisions and revealing health and life in the face of chronic illness and death? He must have innately known that beyond the surface view of lack lay the boundless truth of man’s being – harmonious and wholly cared for in every way by a loving, attentive God.
We, too, have divine authority to “plunge beneath the material surface,” rejecting whatever tries to present itself as hopeless or lacking, and confidently trusting in the limitless spiritual resources sustaining creation. Then we rejoice with the prophet, who shares this vision in Isaiah 41:18: “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”