Finding another option, when plans go awry

Convinced that waste is no part of God’s divine economy, a woman turned to prayer when trying to find a suitable place for items that would meet the needs of others. 

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My siblings and I had driven in from all over the country. Due to various schedules, we only had three days to accomplish the task of preparing my mother’s home for sale. Before arriving, we had an estate sale planned and four donation organizations who were willing to accept most of my parents’ items. We had a dumpster for everything else.

But on the second day of our whirlwind cleanup, our plans came to a screeching halt. Rules for gatherings were changed due to the pandemic lockdown, and the estate sale was canceled. All four donation places were no longer accepting donations. Yet the house was due to go on the market in five days.

It seemed that the dumpster was the only option for Mom and Dad’s beautiful living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture. But to unceremoniously throw out items acquired over more than a half-century seemed wrong on so many levels, especially since I knew there were people lacking what these objects could offer. One dictionary defines “economy” as the careful management of available resources. Throwing away solid furniture in good condition didn’t seem like a careful management of resources when so many people had a need.

I felt so strongly about finding another option that I immediately reached out to God. I said to myself, “God, You are in charge here, not material circumstances.” I reasoned this way: Because God is good and the creator of the universe, as it says in the Bible, nothing in God’s true creation, the universe of Spirit, could ever be useless or outside of its rightful place. Everyone and everything in this creation expresses Spirit, God, and therefore has a divine purpose that must bless.

This prayer was not about physical things. It’s not that God knows of furniture or other material items. But God’s goodness and love maintain the divine order, or divine economy, which is manifested humanly as we become conscious that this spiritual economy is truly our present reality. And in this economy, “whatever blesses one blesses all,” as Mary Baker Eddy writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 206).

To me, this idea of universal blessing indicates a source of love, protection, supply, and goodness that is so unlimited and all-knowing, it leaves no one out – not us, nor whoever it was that could benefit from all that we had to share.

These ideas all came to me in the few minutes we had available to come up with a plan. We decided to continue to clean and turn the situation completely over to God. Then, as we were cleaning, one of my siblings took a table down to the road with a “free for the taking” sign. Within minutes, a couple stopped to pick it up! Then they pulled into the driveway. They told us they worked at a large church down the street and knew many people who could benefit from these items. This was our answer.

The next day they came back with a truck and took everything we didn’t want. Mom’s items were driven away to be a blessing for others, and we had a clean house ready for the market. None of us doubted that God had brought the families together. We were so grateful!

But most of all, we were grateful for the proof that God’s care never stops at just one person. Infinite Love is too big for that! It reaches places we may never see or know. Like ripples in a pond, an action or word or prayer that helps one, reverberates outward to help others as well.

This is a simple demonstration of a need being met, but to me it was a beautiful illustration of how turning to God, divine Love, brings to light, and evidences, the divine idea of supply – that God’s always providing everyone with exactly what they need, when they need it.

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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

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