During the last two weeks before I left England, I was invited to travel around the UK with a friend. She was a more experienced student of Christian Science. Realizing that I had very little money to travel with, she encouraged me to pray and study the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson each morning during the trip to get a better understanding of God and of my spiritual substance.
I had forgotten, though, that there would be a collection taken during the service and I hadn't prepared in advance what I would place in the basket. Since I was in the front row, the collection basket came to me first! I didn't have a lot of time to dig around in my purse.
I knew I had four bills left in there - a fifty, a twenty, a ten and a five. This needed to last me a week. I reached in and pulled out the first bill I touched. The fifty. I put it in the basket. What else could I do?
As I watched it go, I prayed: "Dear God, as your reflection, I give back in your service all that you give me." It was a very spontaneous prayer.
Actually, that is exactly what a reflection does. From the Latin root reflectare, reflection is literally "bending back", or giving back to the original or source.
I still had 35 pounds (the equivalent of about $50 USD at the time) in my purse to live on for one week on the road. But I had never felt so free of fear about my finances. When I saw myself as divine reflection in that moment of prayer, I saw what my eyes couldn't yet see - my permanent, unbreakable link to unfolding good. I felt richer than I ever had before.
When we arrived back in London on the day of my flight, I had five pounds left to cover exactly the expense of the taxi to the airport.
At the last moment at the airport I realized that my bags were even more overweight than they had been when I arrived in England. On the first voyage I had to pay 100 dollars for the extra cargo.
Then I remembered my prayer in that church and realized I would always be OK as long as I never forgot that I reflect the infinite Mind that is God, and was willing to give my all in service to God. So I decided that, if I had to, I was willing to leave all my personal possessions behind in England and let God supply my needs.
I told the agent my bags were overweight. He was so cute. He gave me a wink and said, "Overweight? What is overweight?" And he threw everything on the conveyer belt to go to the plane.
In the many years since, I have had a few brief moments of being quite low on money. The lowest was 37 cents. But I wasn't afraid. In fact, this lesson on reflecting all good from God has never failed to arrest the fear in each case. Giving back in service to God what I reflect from Him has been the saving grace that has brought employment, opportunity, housing, time, and even cash - whatever has supplied my needs.
I don't think Jesus was setting a policy of perpetual poverty or dependance on charity for his most devoted followers. He simply let them learn a powerful lesson on spiritual dependance and Love reflected in love as the supply for human needs. Once that lesson was learned, it became a supportive platform for later proofs of supply that enabled the same disciples to build up the Christian community.
Luke's gospel recounts that later "he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip..." (22:35,36)
I don't believe Jesus expected us to accept limitation in any form. A lack of, or block on, the perpetual flow of divine good, is simply a lie about God - our true Source. As God's image and likeness, we reflect infinite Good and expressing divine good places us squarely in line with a supply flow that simply can't run out.
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