191. Teach Me to Spend For Others as I Spend for Myself
If, through Thy grace, I hold more wealth than others, teach me to share the surplus with those who have nothing. For it is Thou who art playing poor in one body and acting rich in another. Thou gavest the wealth to Thyself, while playing rich, to test whether Thou wouldst Thyself be broad enough to give Thy riches to Thyself, playing poor.
The fortunate one who cares not for the unfortunate, cannot feel Thine omnipresence. Those blinded by selfish opulence have to be poor again, if they see not Thee in the abode of the poor. The unfeeling rich must be poor again and learn to part with comforts, that they may feel the pinch and pangs of their own and others’ wants.
Blessed are those who share Thy gifts, which were given to them that they might learn to give. But those who keep locked away Thine useful gifts, mildewing with idleness, while many of their brothers are wailing by the wayside for help, die in the poverty of an unexpanded soul.
To die rich, without giving anything, is to die poor. And to pass the portals of death as poor, because of giving to others, is really to be rich.
Teach us to consider and feel for others, who have already lost wealth or health, more than we would for our own loss of prosperity or of bodily strength. If we shiver even at the thought of poverty for ourselves, teach us to sympathize still more with those who are already under the wheels of want.
Teach us to spend for others’ necessities as happily and freely as we spend for our own real needs. Teach us not to love Thy gifts and forget Thee, the Giver of all gifts.
Those who think more of Thy gifts than of Thee. separate themselves from Thee.
Those who offer Thy gifts to others freely, even as Thou didst give to them, find themselves as one in the many selves of all.