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I Suppose Poverty

If I see poverty in any form, I have convinced myself that it is possible for good to be missing. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (SH 494:10). If her statement is correct, how is poverty possible? Be assured that divine Love's provision is ever available; yet, too often, it is unsought, unheeded, or unrecognized. When I suppose poverty, I limit my perception of divine provision.

Offering assistance to someone without understanding the impartial and all-inclusive nature of God's riches will not bear fruit in any scientific sense but will only reduce the contents of my wallet. Appearing to be magnanimous by dividing my living with others is not in accord with Mind's method: divine Love never divides, for as Love is shared, it multiplies! If an impoverished person were a member of my household or a close friend, I may give freely of my substance because the need is staring me in the face. My demi-god mentality may seem justified, but without receiving a spiritual impetus to share, the receiver of my gift will receive little benefit since material means and methods turn people away from the divine method, often leading them to become satisfied with idleness and swell with a sense of entitlement. By and by, they may think that they can help themselves to my resources. In this case, the serpent of old has become a dragon.

Even the best attempts to intervene in God's affairs have no basis in truth. The Lord "maketh the devices of the people of none effect" (Ps 33:10). My real responsibility is to see the so-called impoverished one blessed by the rich mercies of God and then to respond to the human need in accordance with Mind's largesse. "How were the loaves and fishes multiplied on the shores of Galilee, - and that, too, without meal or monad from which loaf or fish could come?" (SH 90:2). Jesus understood substance to be infinite; his money was Mind - an open storehouse within his own being. When his table was fully furnished, he said to his disciples and to all mankind, "Come and dine" (John 21:12).

My house is mental. As long as I maintain the notion that it is possible to suppose, I am in hell with my own false premises and conclusions; and there I remain until I see the hopelessness of humanism, hypocrisy, self-justification, pride, conceit, and so on and want to know how God meets every human need. Having exhausted the world's methods, I get humble for righteousness' sake and find that Jesus and Paul were right: "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30), but "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil 4:13). When I know my true worth, I am happy, whole, and safe, radiating God's riches freely out upon the universe.

A woman whom I knew shared the following experience with me. She had entered a restaurant, and as she looked around, she heard an angel voice telling her to give one hundred dollars to a man that was sitting in a booth with two children. She hesitated for a moment because it was nearly all she had, but then she obeyed the voice and offered the money. The man broke into tears, for he had brought his family in from the cold and had no money for food or provisions. This amount exactly met his need. After this experience, the woman was inspired to start a food kitchen to feed the hungry in her town. The food poured in free of charge, her church provided kitchen space, and several volunteers offered to prepare the meals. In a very short time, hundreds were being fed without money and without price.

The angel message that directed this woman to give to the man in the restaurant multiplied her grace and gratitude. "Freely ye have received, freely give (Matt 10:8).

George Denninger ©

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