The greatest gift is “charity”?

I just had some wake-me-up to God’s goodness thoughts this morning.  I was recalling a conversation I had with a family member last night about the satisfaction of realizing God’s presence.  And, it just hit me like a train wreck: the most prized gift in my life – in our lives – is the ability to pray.  Nothing brings more happiness, more contentment.  Nothing blesses more, nothing satisfies the soul like prayer – the ability to perceive things from God’s perspective.  You could take everything away from me, but if I still could pray, I would be happy as I built it back up.

I was also talking with Neighbor Tim and Nolan last night about giving to the poor.  I couldn’t help but pull out Eddy’s introduction to “Miscellaneous Writings.”  I remember reading this intro for the first time on the top of a car in the mid-day’s sun somewhere along a cross country trip in southernwestern USA.  I didn’t trust her thoughts.  Eddy opens the book: “A certain apothegm of a Talmudical philosopher suits my sense of doing good.  It reads thus: “The noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting charity; and the best alms are to show and to enable a man to dispense with alms.”  My mind was racing.  Jesus gave to the poor, and his mercy touched people to the core.  And, eventually he lifted the whole race.  You give, I thought, because God gives.  Relentless unselfishness is the way.  You give without asking for return; and you have the humility to accept charity.  We’re not here for profit in this world, I thought.  Jesus was a wandering charity-giver, and he marked the way.

In retrospect, I see how much I had to learn about “render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caeser’s; and unto God the things that are God.”  God is purely spiritual and to work with God, for God, we need to work spiritually, not through material means.

I still romanticize Jesus’ unfailing mercy, tears and tireless giving; and his homeless sojourn in the hilltops of Galilean.  But, it’s growing in my heart that learning to pray scientifically is the straight and narrow way that he spoke about.  The human appearance of it doesn’t matter.

Salvation is not about giving away our earthly treasures and feeling the temporary bliss of physical self-abnegation and charity.  We grow towards God by understanding his nature spiritually.  Spiritually understanding God is the only way to be saved.  And, if we feel God’s immeasurable goodness and truth in our prayer-lives, security, abundance, goodness should appear – even in our earthly sense of things.  We are so worthy of goodness and we’re so worthy to experience it right now in whatever way is right for us.  The Kingdom of Heaven is here in all it’s splendor.

So, I bless the beggers, but don’t give them money (sometimes food).  Man’s money isn’t their savior.  God is their savior and the principle governing their lives.  Knowing it brings healing, and lifts man to the  classification of “blessed,” not “victim.”

My thought this morning was: The greatest gift is charity (love), but our greatest gift is giving love spiritually through prayer.    -Nate

A thought for our church:

“Forget self in laboring for mankind; then will you woo the weary wanderer to your door, win the pilgrim and stranger to your church, and find access to the heart of humanity. While pressing meekly on, be faithful, be valiant in the Christian’s warfare, and peace will crown your joy.”  -Misc. 155:7