A Christian Science perspective.
A teenage boy left the house one day on an errand for his father. Thus began a dramatic journey in which his faith in God led him safely as he slalomed through a mine field of undeserved betrayal, slavery, temptation, and even prison, until he landed triumphantly in a high government position through which he saved a nation from starvation. Joseph’s story can be found in the Bible, beginning with Genesis, Chapter 37. If it’s tempting to think of that story as interesting but irrelevant to today’s global hunger challenge, wait. There’s more.
Time and again, the Scriptures emphasize how one’s understanding of the First Commandment – to have no other gods before the God the Bible defines as divine Love – can heal hunger. Moses found manna on the ground and brought fresh water out of a rock. Elijah rescued a widow and her son from hopeless hunger. His student Elisha had a similar experience. Centuries later, Christ Jesus fed multitudes with a few loaves of bread and some fish. What he taught and proved about trust in God’s law so changed the world that it gives us a basis for hope that hunger can at last be conquered.
One faithful follower of Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy, yearned to alleviate the suffering of humanity. In her search for answers she discovered that the same law that fed multitudes and healed the sick in ancient days spans the centuries with timeless power. Her textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” explains, “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” (p. 206).
She discovered that the individual who applied God’s law to his or her own needs could also have a marked impact on the needs of others. She became a Christian healer whose work has blessed thousands. The natural effect of God’s infinite law understood and applied by a single individual does not operate by chance. It’s a dependable law that can be proved under the most trying circumstances. For example, a farmer facing foreclosure because his crops were failing for lack of rain asked a Christian Scientist to pray for him. The prayer acknowledged the universal law of God, divine Love, as the provider of all good for man. It affirmed that divine Love gently guides into green pastures, not parched wastelands. It leads beside the still waters, where all may drink their fill safely and not be overwhelmed by turbulent, destructive floods (see Psalms 23:1-6). Throughout the growing season, he continued to pray with such ideas. Toward the end of summer, the overjoyed farmer invited the Christian Scientist to see his farm, an oasis of green that produced an abundant crop.
Every individual can have a significant impact on world hunger. The spiritual law of Love that provided manna in the wilderness, abundance where there was lack, compassion for the helpless, food for the multitudes, is relevant today. It may begin with individuals, but its promise embraces everyone with the comfort of the Psalmist, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”