By Sharon Ray
O Divine Giver of Life, may I become a true recipient of Your cosmic healing forces, and then may I join You in helping others wherever I can.
– Norman Paulsen
Charity, the selfless act of loving and caring for others, grows as we grow. Charity, as Norman Paulsen put it, “is the nurturing nature of Divine Spirit!”
Sometimes I lay in bed, so warm and comfortable that I pray, “Oh God, thank You for this grace; please multiply it around the world to all those who need it.” I imagine God creating many miracles of love, making those sleeping on cold hard floors feel as warm and comfortable as I am in my bed.
God takes our prayers seriously. We have to be watchful for the moments when we are given the chance to participate in their fulfillment. This happened for me the day I drove into a parking lot in town. On the corner I saw a woman in a wheelchair, clearly homeless, and sheltering herself as best she could from the relentless, cold wind. I normally don’t approach the homeless, having some kind of fearfulness about doing so, but this day I wanted to break that in myself with this woman.
Looking into her beautiful blue eyes, I found out her name is “Elizabeth”. We became friends. She shyly inquired of me, “Could I ask you for a favor? It’s so cold at night, and I know it’s a luxury, but could you go into Ross and find out how much their pillows cost?” As I went to my car to get my purse in anticipation that I might be able to find the things she so needed, an intense compassion filled my heart and tears filled my eyes. I asked in wonder, “God, what have you done to me?”
I found a pillow and comforter set in pink, for about twenty bucks. As I stood in line it suddenly dawned on me: God had given me a chance to fulfill my prayer directly! Spirit is giving me the opportunity to help Elizabeth to be as warm and comfortable as I am in my own bed. Wow!
The nurturing nature of Divine Spirit comes forward in us as God opens our hearts along our journey to the realization that God lives equally in all of us. We rejoice in giving, feeling that the needs of others are as important as our own. Not only this, but there is the joy of serving the Divine Beloved when we serve others—we now understand Jesus’ words, “That which you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me.” God is serving God, through each of us.
Oh Divine Spirit, open my heart to serve You in all people. Through acts of charity, may I become the instrument of Your very heart.