In my community the nonstop noise of new construction all around sometimes makes working from home difficult. At the same time however, several grocery store parking lots where older motorhomes are parked appear to host homeless families. The staggering gap between affordable family housing and inadequate take-home-pay is unsettling. Current demographic projections show 70% of the world living in cities by 2050, and trends indicate that as cities develop and enhance their infrastructure, everything becomes more expensive. The result: many find it harder and harder to meet a family’s basic needs.
While today’s world class urban planners are aware of the bittersweet cost of growth, at least one, Don Masterson, strips away infrastructure and politics and defines a truly healthy city as one that works for all its citizens and is ultimately “about equity.”
One could surmise that an equitable community would meet all the unique needs of its citizens sufficiently. One might also think, ”impossible”.
There are, however, numerous Biblical examples of equity regardless of circumstance. For instance, Jesus’ parable of a householder paying his laborers the exact same wage despite the length of day worked (Matthew 20) illustrates divine equity surpassing human expectation. Rather than differentiating those who sweat it out during the “heat of the day” from those who just showed up for the last hour of the day, God cared for every one of His children — regardless of the human tasks accomplished (some might think of that parable as illustrating inequity unless the spiritual import of God’s bestowels of attributes is understood). Paul captures a divine sense of this impartial providence in II Corinthians (KJV) when referring to the perfect balance of supply that each of the children of Israel experienced for forty years while wandering the wilderness. “He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.”
The beauty of divine equity is that the human being is not asked to conform to an average standard and then rewarded with an arbitrary allotment from a finite supply. God is ever-present good, always unbounded, unlimited, and it is His nature to meet the unique needs of each of His precious children with this abundant goodness.
American religious reformer and author Mary Baker Eddy experienced this loving provision despite adverse circumstances and saw that there is a divine Principle we can rely on to meet all our needs. (See Retrospection and Introspection). Her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, correlates spiritual care to our relationship with God “as divinity embracing humanity in Life and its demonstration …reducing to human perception and understanding the Life which is God.”
Ethel Dow Wetzel found proof of this when she was faced with impending bankruptcy and certain homelessness. Inspired by a new perspective of God as a wholly loving God, she wholeheartedly trusted His spiritual care and gained a peaceful calm amidst foreclosure and eviction proceedings. She clung to the promise found in Eddy’s writings that “there is no power apart from God” (Ibid, p. 228), and was graced with delays in proceedings, until a huge discount on her mortgage contract was presented out of the blue. The turn of events allowed her a speedy refinance, and in deep gratitude she remarked that her “home and equity were both restored.”
The “understanding [of] the Life which is God” lifts our focus above the picture of worldly limits and fearful outcomes, and allows us to trust Divine Love. Then we are granted the opportunity to see that God cannot and would never create lack alongside abundance, and we are blessed with practical solutions.