A lesson from a homeless child

What would you do as a 6-year-old if your parents were separated, you couldn't speak English, and you were homeless? Little Brenda Baez begged for only one thing – that she not have to change schools.

Now, several years later and despite having lived in a number of communities, Brenda has not only attended the same school the whole time, she has received Camp Fire USA's award for "Absolutely Incredible Kid" (see "Not even homelessness deterred 9-year-old's devotion to her school," The Boston Globe, March 16).

What impressed me most about this story is that the child took the stand and the mother followed her lead, despite the family's homelessness and their need to move from one friend's home to another and eventually to a shelter. It tells me that innocence, perseverance, and trust in good – innate in each one of us as children of God – are qualities that sustain and guide us.

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The Bible, in the book of Isaiah, records a vision of heaven where harmony reigns, where dire circumstances do not hold sway: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (11:6).

Harmony, the law of God in action, is always operating. Like gravity, we're always under its influence. We don't pray for the law to do what it should, but we do ask to be wise and obedient so we can avail ourselves of its protection.

Allowing those innate qualities of trust, perseverance, and recognition of what is good to come to the fore opens the door for the reign of harmony to govern us.

Mary Baker Eddy, who not only founded this newspaper but also established the Christian Science church, wrote under the marginal heading "Basis of miracles" of the "divine law ... the immutable law of God, good ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 134).

Brenda Baez asked for what she inherently knew was good. I felt that her desire was a form of prayer. She was, as best she could, availing herself of the law of harmony. Brenda's mother as well was availing herself of that law as she strove to fulfill her daughter's wishes.

Whatever circumstances we face, we can trust that God's unchangeable law is at work. Listening for good with childlike trust and then moving forward in accord with our highest understanding of what that good is, is inevitably progressive.

Ms. Baez's willingness to follow her daughter's lead and make stability in school a priority indicates that trust and perseverance can bring progress. Not only has Brenda been recognized for her good work, but her family now has their own apartment across the street from her school.

Brenda's example shows what the rewards can be for an individual, for her family, and potentially for the community.

Our soul is escaped
as a bird
out of the snare
of the fowlers:
the snare is broken,
and we are escaped.
Our help
is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalms 124:7, 8

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