The River Plenty runs Soul-deep

Poverty may have as many definitions as it has faces, and the faces are way too many. Economists and sociologists may define poverty in terms of statistics and demographic trends. Yet those who see poor people face to face—just about anyone who walks city sidewalks these days—are more likely to perceive neediness in personal and emotional terms.

You're reading a magazine that's designed for spiritual aid-givers and insight-seekers, for healers and for those seeking healing through God's exalting grace. Given that kind of publishing mission, how we, the Sentinel's editors, define or explain the causes of poverty is not as significant as how we all—writers, readers, and editors, individually and collectively—respond to the poor. And to any evidence of lack or want within our own private soul-precincts.

Want to help eradicate poverty? As several of this week's contributors recommend, start within your own mental arena, then care outward. Contributing Editor Bill Moody points to a powerful Biblical model for emerging whole and stronger from personal poverty. To natural scientist and Christian Scientist Glen Lauder, the starting point in responding to poverty in any form is one's mental model—whether we view ourselves and others as finite, failure-prone, and material, or as limitlessly capable spiritual beings. Antonio Gonga, a Christian Science practioner based in central Africa, looks honestly at his home continent and finds no lack of natural resources. And Africa, he says, has thinkers—those whose spiritual insights will turn potential into real growth.

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November 28, 2005

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