Finding a home

LIVING in a city, I often see homeless men and women. One of the severest trials a person can face is to lose his home. What can we do? We must take care not to become hardened to this problem from frequent contact with it. Also, it's important to beware of assuming that individuals are homeless because of in-dolence or irresponsibility. This is not necessarily so--and even when it is, shouldn't we have compassion? Christ Jesus was compassionate toward the needy, preaching the gospel to them, feeding them, and healing their sick. Though he had no house of his own, he was always at home, for he understood that the kingdom of heaven, man's true home, is within consciousness.1 And he understood God's care for every need. ``Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered,'' 2 he said. By realizing in prayer that God provides for all His children, we can help silence the lie that man can become impoverished and lose his purpose. A rec- ognition of man's rights as the child of God can help dispel the nightmare of homelessness and correct the circumstances that produce it. Mary Baker Eddy3 often had to live with friends during her years of preparation in discovering Christian Science. Later, after her Church was established, she had a beautiful home. She felt deep compassion for the unfortunate, and charitably helped them. Yet she once observed, agreeing with a Talmudical philosopher, that the best charity is to prevent a man from accepting charity.4 And that is exactly what Christian Science does, because it helps us to help ourselves through an understanding of divine law, which is invariably good. In accord with this law, each of us has a niche in God's universe. Each is cared for and indispensable, and this spiritual fact can be brought to light in the form of an appropriate home. Prayer can help the destitute. And it can help those who may be more fortunate but still have a pressing need to find an appropriate place to live. For example, there was a time when I feared I might become homeless. I had come to a large city with my small daughter to meet my husband, who had been out of the country, and to make a home there. Soon after his arrival, my husband, who was not a Christian Scientist, had a serious accident and was told he could expect to be in the hospital many months. It was natural for me to trust God in the face of adversity; yet I found this situation most challenging. Besides going to the hospital daily, I had to continue searching for an apartment. As housing was expensive and in short supply, this became discouraging. Meanwhile, living in a hotel was fast depleting our resources. I needed to get settled to make a proper home for our daughter and to look for part-time work. After much fruitless searching, I found a pleasant apartment near a large park. Though the listed price was more than we had planned to pay, I felt I could manage. But when I spoke to the superintendent's wife, she said the price in the advertisement was a misprint, and named a considerably higher rent. Deeply disappointed, I said we couldn't afford it. Nevertheless, I agreed to think it over for a few hours; she seemed to want us. After returning to the hotel I realized it would be foolhardy to take on such a high rent. It seemed the last straw. I broke down and cried! Later, growing calmer, I reaffirmed that there was a place for us--that God had already provided it, and that it would become visible as a suitable home when I accepted this spiritual fact. Then I resolutely called the superintendent's wife and told her the rent was too high. ``Oh, I'm so glad you called,'' she said. ``The landlord said he would let you have it for the amount printed in the paper. It's more important to him to have good tenants than to make the extra money.'' I was enormously grateful. The higher rent was printed in the lease, but the landlord promised he would never charge it, though legally entitled to--and he kept his word during the ten years my husband, my daughter, and I lived there. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.'' 5 When we love deeply and spiritually, expressing more of that kingdom within, we are already at home, and this spiritual state of thought will result in a practical answer to our need. 1 See Luke 17:20, 21. 2 Luke 12:7. 3 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4 See Miscellaneous Writings, p. ix. 5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494.{et

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