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Cities recovering from economic loss

A Christian Science perspective.

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When an individual is out of work, or a family has seen its retirement or college savings severely reduced, or a town has lost several hundred jobs because companies have closed, it can seem daunting. But to continue to focus on what has been lost is even more detrimental to the prospects of those individuals and communities.

In a passage of Scripture, Jesus lifts the thought of his listeners by characterizing losses in a very different way. He said, "I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.... Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me" (John 15:1–4, New Living Translation).

Those who feel that they have lost almost everything have not lost the one essential – their Father-Mother God, whose steadfast love will never desert them. A pruned rosebush can look very diminished, and the branches that have been removed will never bloom again. But that is not what a gardener focuses on when he or she looks at that rosebush, anticipating how it has been prepared for the possibilities to come.

Individuals and communities poised for recovery are those that see new possibilities. It's seldom pleasant to get pruned, but there is a big upside. What was unproductive is gone; what is productive in each of us is prepared to be even more productive.

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