abundance, Reality

Empty gas tank?…Not really!

While visiting friends in another city, I borrowed their car to get around.  After a few days of driving, I needed to get more gas (petrol), and so I filled the tank.  However the next evening when I was using the car to get back to my friends’ house after some meetings downtown, I was putting the car into reverse to pull out of my parking spot, the gas gauge went from full to empty, and the light came on indicating I needed to get gas right before my eyes.  That’s strange, I thought… and I turned the car off and hopped out to look where I put the gas in the car and checked that the gas cap was secure.  I got back in the car and restarted it, and the same thing happened.  I was very confused because I knew I had just filled it the night before, so there was no way it could be utterly empty.  I called my friend, who told me that it happens sometimes, when the tank is filled all the way, the computer “freaks out” and shows empty when it is really full.  I certainly trust my friend, and yet I still asked if he was sure.  He said yes, it has happened to his wife before and he assured me that I would be just fine and I would be able to make the hour drive back home to their place.  I decided to 1) trust my friend, and 2) pray to calm my thought and feel a sense of Divine assurance.  And sure enough, I made it to their house with no problems.  

I was thinking about how this is a helpful analogy and was able to turn to it in the weeks following. It was tempting to believe the illusion of an empty gas tank because the was what the car was telling me, even though I knew with total certainty that I had filled the tank just the day before. Just like it was tempting to believe that my own “tank” was pretty empty after hosting a big holiday family feast and spending days preparing – cleaning, shopping, cooking – and then hosting. It was also tempting to buy into the illusion of sickness and contagion when supporting a friend both metaphysically and practically with visits and meals the following week who seemed to be suffering from in sickness.  But each time before going in to visit, I would assert my freedom as an idea of God. And I really dove into this oft repeated passage from Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures –

“When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust…” (p. 495).  

I have heard this passage so often, I had almost become numb to its meaning and power. But I realized the picture before me of sickness or fatigue was an illusion, much like the gas tank.  And when I cling to or turn whole-heartedly to God, the source of my life, health, wholeness and love, and understand my identity as God’s spiritual reflection and expression…and feel the allness and ever-presence of God’s love for me and everyone, including my friend, I was able to keep out fear and doubt and remain clear, calm and trusting in the truth and power of God’s love for us.

I thought about how an illusion is like mist or fog, clouding our clear view, but that is all that it is.  

And when the light of truth shines, the fog dissipates and we can see more clearly the true picture before us. 

 I understood this passage in a deeper way and could see how it clearly applied to this situation supporting my friend.  This seeming sense of sickness was not any more true about him, as Love’s perfect, divine creation, than the gas tank being empty.  I could trust completely that neither of our tanks could ever be empty when our life is supplied and maintained by God who is our Life.  With that I was so unimpressed with the symptoms that I could see right through them and was never susceptible to contagion. My friend also improved rapidly and had a complete healing shortly thereafter.  

How are you seeing through the false picture or mirage of an empty gas tank, and trusting the truth of your being?

blessings, gratitude, hope, humanity, Love, Magnify the good

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

In case you didn’t know, today is National Peanut Butter Day in the U.S., and to celebrate I ate peanut butter sandwich.  Why should anyone care about this obscure holiday, you ask…  Well for me it is significant because it is a reminder to pray to know that the world’s children have all they need at every moment. To know that divine Love is meeting their every need, and caring for them.  That as the reflection and image and likeness of their divine Parent, they come with infinite supply of good.

i5Each year on this day I pause to remember this and to pray in this way specifically for the children in Zambia, Malawi and elsewhere, struggling with malnutrition and a seeming lack of supply, and for the organizations such as Every Child Fed (ECF), whereI worked as the Country Director for Zambia, and their partner organization Project Peanut Butter (PPB).  These organizations help supply an enriched peanut butter paste to children who are suffering from severe malnutrition.

When I was embarking on this journey to work to support children in this way, it was not helpful to see the children as lacking anything – food, health, care – but instead to know that each idea of Life, Love, God is whole and complete, coming with its own supply – like an acorn that already includes the leaves, bark, branches and roots of a tree all within itself.   I find it helpful to know that Love is our true source of supply, and that it is constant, consistent, limitless, infinite and eternal…  this is true for everyone… the children in Zambia, as well as US government workers during the shutdown, and anyone else feeling a sense of lack or insecurity.  As Mary Baker Eddy states in her inspired text

Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.

She goes on to say, “It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.”[1]Jesus demonstrated the ever-presence of supply by multiplying the loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes… and there were baskets left over!  (see Matthew 14:13-21)

img_2788 copy

But how do we feel and know that our supply will be there when everything points to the contrary… I have found in my experience, that a change in thought can help.  Rather than seeing lack everywhere, we can shift our perspective with gratitude for what we DO have…  Just as in the example of the loaves and fishes, Jesus gave gratitude first… “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied…”[2]

kid w rutfHow can we feel that sense of being satisfied with what we already have and grateful for it?   Mrs. Eddy puts it this way,

“Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”[3]

I have found that supply for the next thing doesn’t seem to show up until I get grateful for what I already have.  When I pause and assess what I do have, and give gratitude for all the good that is present in my life, it has a magnifier and multiplier effect… and more good comes in.. like attracts like… so seeing the good already present, attracts more good to come in.  (You can check out a previous blog I wrote on supply and the power of gratitude for more on this idea… )

So today, let’s celebrate all the good… and understand our true source of supply, for ourselves and everyone, especially children… and to that, I will raise a jar of peanut butter!

g5

*Note: all of the photos I took while working in Malawi and Zambia with ECF and PPB

[1]Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 494

[2]Matthew 14:18

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 3

joy

“The joy that none can take away”

camp2I just returned from two weeks at a summer camp, where I served as a Christian Science Practitioner to a group of 34 teenage junior leaders, and nine staff members.  This means I had the privilege of supporting the spiritual growth and development of the group as well as supporting Christian healing… and healings were abundant during this two weeks.  What is it about the atmosphere at camp that supports rapid and even instantaneous healing?  This morning I listened to a Daily Lift podcast entitled The healing power of humor by Joel Magnes, CS, from Vancouver, Washington, USA – in which Joel quotes the Common English Bible as saying

“A joyful heart helps healing.”[1]

Well, joy was something we talked about a lot during this session at camp.  We reflected on how it is an inherent quality within each and every one of us, because it is a quality of Spirit.  It isn’t dependent on external factors, but comes from within and from our Creator… and therefore it cannot be taken away when circumstances in our lives or our environment change.  Joy is often associated with child-likeness…  not childishness which is different.  Child-likeness is that quality that Jesus talked about:

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”[2]

I love this idea that we all must be as a little child, and express that child-like innocence, purity, goodness, whole-hearted trust in our Father-Mother… and joy, exuberant joy that is natural to each of us!!

Just today I saw a post on social media that talked of the joy in the little things, showing a small child playing in the rain and puddles in a duck jacket/umbrella…  and shortly thereafter, a clip from a TED talk about joy and the need for color in our lives, in our schools and work places.  The world is crying out to be more joyful and yet it is right there within each of us to express.

It was fun embracing my own child-likeness at camp trying new things like zip-lining and wake-boarding for the first time… and riding roller coasters at an amusement park for the first time since I was a teenager.  At summer camp, the joy spreads and catches and carries us with it but we have to remember that it is not our surroundings that are the cause of joy… it is our reflection of Spirit, of Life, of Love that allows us to express joy no matter where we are or who we are with.  We can all be that radiant light of love and laughter, anywhere and everywhere!

When a camper was down I often referenced the bold lines of this favorite hymn, knowing that there is nothing that can take away our joy, when we walk with Love!! 

I walk with Love along the way,

And O, it is a holy day;

No more I suffer cruel fear,

I feel God’s presence with me here;

The joy that none can take away

Is mine; I walk with Love today.

 

Who walks with Love along the way,

Shall talk with Love and Love obey;

God’s healing truth is free to all,

Our Father answers every call;

’Tis He dispels the clouds of gray

That all may walk with Love today.

 

Come, walk with Love along the way,

Let childlike trust be yours today;

Uplift your thought, with courage go,

Give of your heart’s rich overflow,

And peace shall crown your joy-filled day.

Come, walk with Love along the way.[3]

 

 

[1] Proverbs 17:22 (CEB)

[2] Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)

[3] Christian Science Hymnal 139:1-3

 

gratitude

On Supply…

Photo for blog on Supply

I was recently visiting with a friend, while out for a walk with my dog Tillie, who talked to me about the challenges of her family living paycheck-to-paycheck each month.  She wondered aloud if some people are just unlucky or end up poor their whole lives.  My heart broke for her and her struggle, as I had recently been contemplating the idea of supply and its source as well.

I had been praying to know that our supply comes from our eternal Provider.  Pioneering thinker, Mary Baker Eddy writes in one of my favorite books, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”[1]

I have seen evidence of this Love she speaks of meeting my needs time and time again… and I’ve found I have to eliminate every doubt and fear that it wouldn’t happen again.  But how?

An article by L. Ivimy Gwalter in the August 15, 1936 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel, entitled Supply as Spiritual Reflection, puts it this way:

The sun does not say, If only I had not shone quite so much yesterday, I should have more light with which to shine today. The fact that it shone yesterday is the proof that it can shine today. Yet (we) are prone to say, “If I had not spent so much yesterday,” or even, “If I had not given so much yesterday, I should have more today.”[2]

There is a lot in this world that makes us think we come from a place of lack… sometimes that is all we can see – lack of money or resources, lack of health, lack of love – but when we pause and give gratitude for all we already have, it can change our point of view to a standpoint of abundance.  As Mrs. Eddy points out,

“Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”[3]

Gratitude has such a transformative and healing power! 

(And I was certainly grateful for IMG_9491spending time with my friend and my dog, Tillie, on this beautiful day at the park by a lake!!)

My friend and I talked about how her jobs were not just to make money but to bless those that she’s in contact with, and that she can’t suffer from blessing others but will find the infinite supply she needs.  Mrs. Eddy also states,

“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.”[4]

Jesus was able to demonstrate that our true source of supply isn’t material but spiritual when he was able to feed thousands of people, from a few loaves of bread and a handful of fish.  He gave gratitude first and blessed the food and then asked everyone to share.  And there were many baskets of food left over… even after,

“They all ate and were satisfied.”[5]

Jesus proved that our true source is actually Spirit, Love… Divine Love.  And we can too.

The following is actually the opening line of the book I mentioned, and it is one that I turn to time and again… I shared it with my friend.

“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.” [6]

We need to lean into that Love, that sustaining power in our lives and trust it, and we will find those many blessings… not just for ourselves but for everyone around us.  This idea really resonated with my friend, and I hope it helps you as well!

[1] Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 494

[2] L. Ivimy Gwalter, Supply as Spiritual Reflection, Christian Science Sentinel, August 15, 1936

[3] Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 3

[4] Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 206

[5] Mark 6:42 (NIV)

[6] Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. vii