Where home and grace meet
A Christian Science perspective: When a house didn't sell as readily as expected, love, faith, and prayer brought progress.
Our timing was impeccable. (Not really!) Just about the time the housing market tanked, foreclosures were rampant, and the sellers’ market had grim prospects, we decided to put our little townhouse on the market and upgrade to a larger home for our own teenaged children, as well as the needs of the families of our grown son and daughter.
We contacted a dynamite real estate agent and began what was to become a three-year journey, trying to sell our home as we negotiated to buy or build a larger one. We entered into four different contracts during that time, both with builders and owners of older homes. But each experience ended in disappointment for us – and the status quo in our townhouse.
We prayed to be led by God, the all-knowing, infinite Mind, as Mary Baker Eddy described Him (see “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 587). As we prayed more diligently to be directed by God to what was right for our family, we realized that we had to love the place right where we were – not only the home we were dwelling in, but the neighborhood, too.
Learning to love unselfishly and compassionately is the model Christ Jesus gave us. We could find many examples of his love for those around him. The Bible certainly never indicates he had anxiety about where he lived. It shows him always calm and grateful. So we got busy loving.
We knew that gratitude would free us from our anxiety and would keep our thought focused on the good in our experience. We started loving our cute, little townhouse with increased gratitude for its storage space, its yard for our dog, and its proximity to my commuter train station. We embarked on upgrades to the outside, including a new garden and new exterior paint. We also took interest in our neighbors, and were delighted in a new next-door neighbor and the other family who watched out for our property. We just got busy loving.
We found comfort in the 23rd Psalm, too. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever,” it states emphatically. We knew we were never outside God’s goodness, promise, and dwelling. Right where we were living, God was with us.
About that time, I found a hymn in the “Christian Science Hymnal Supplement” that became our theme song. It begins, “Home is the consciousness of good ...” and goes on to say in a subsequent verse, “Home is the Father’s sweet ‘Well done,’ God’s daily, hourly gift of grace” (No. 443). Gradually we realized that God’s daily, hourly, gift of grace to us was flowing, regardless of the housing market, unpredictable prices, or other economic conditions.
We took our house off the market because we hadn’t had any activity, but we were busy loving each aspect of our present home and life in the neighborhood. About a year later, when we were visiting our children halfway across the United States, we got in touch with a real estate agent in that city and asked to see some houses there. Within 24 hours we had bought a house. It shocked but also delighted us, even if we now owned two houses in different parts of the country.
Two mortgages? We tried not to be scared as the thought of two mortgages loomed, when paying one mortgage was all we could manage. We felt pushed to relocate, without fear about how we were going to do this. The hymn quoted earlier was a real comfort to us as we thought about “God’s daily, hourly gift of grace.” We were trusting in God’s gifts to carry us all the way, that our love and gratitude would bless us and that another family would delight in our townhouse. We returned to our little, loved townhouse and started polishing it, loving it, and working with our crackerjack agent.
It was the worst winter the East Coast had seen in a long time, and in the middle of it all, the agent and prospective buyers trooped through our home. We were confident, knowing “God’s daily, hourly gift of grace” was upon all of us.
The movers were scheduled to pack us up, and within two weeks before the movers were to arrive, a young family fell in love with our townhouse and made an offer that was exactly what we needed. We were not only in awe of God’s care for all of us, buyer and seller, but the joy in which home, and the consciousness of good, was showered on everyone.
Consciously dwelling in the house of the Lord lifted our expectations above real estate predictions, and blessings flowed.
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