Guidance through the mortgage crisis

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Home. That word is powerful. It symbolizes stability, security, safety, joy, beauty, comfort, love. However modest our houses or apartments or rooms may be, they represent more than the sum of the materials that compose them. At its heart, home is a spiritual concept.

During the years when she was writing "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy was compelled to move no fewer than eight times, taking her rocking chair and a trunk holding other belongings. It's likely that this spiritual journey helped her define the spiritual nature of home as "the dearest spot on earth" (p. 58).

Right now a recognition of the spiritual nature of home is important. As the subprime lending crisis continues to ripple through the US and other economies, as many as 2 million people may be affected in the US alone. A large number of these people accepted mortgages that began with low interest rates, which then jumped to much higher rates that owners couldn't afford. Many may be in danger of foreclosure.

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But rather than blaming oneself or others, it will be most effective to lift thought to understand that the essence of home isn't in a building but in our hearts.

Whatever adjustments have to be made legally and morally in the way mortgages are bought and sold, the needed corrections will have the most impact if they rest on a spiritual foundation. Greed, pride, and ignorance are not conducive to the process. And they cannot play any part in "the dearest spot on earth." These need to be replaced with intelligence and compassion toward everyone who is affected by this situation.

News reports make clear that complex legal issues affect potential solutions, and that flexibility will be vital to arrest the slide in home values and the potential losses for investors as well as property owners. Reliance on God is essential. Principle and Love are synonymous with God, and that implies we can expect the outcome of prayer to be marked by lawfulness balanced by lovingkindness.

Such reliance isn't an intellectual exercise. Right now, in this time, each individual can expect to have God's guidance for his or her specific situation. Gaining this direction requires shutting out thoughts of self-justification, willfulness, or outlining what should happen. A childlike trust is needed. Opening up oneself totally to God's direction is a sure answer to finding a way forward. Speaking of the storms and tempests that seem overwhelming, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 152).

Within this "haven of Soul," love, intelligence, and humility, are abundant. Soul, also synonymous with God, is a place of purity and peace, and a source of strength and beauty. Soul is where hope lives, where each of us truly resides. To consciously dwell in Soul is to say to troubled thoughts and fears that there is only one voice that truly guides – God's. It is to listen for the intuitions God sends and follow them humbly and willingly. On this path toward the right answers, we can trust the Christ, which can be described as God's active message of love for each of us. This will provide the needed solution, even if not in the form we would expect.

Much the way that the children of Israel were fed with manna in the wilderness – not a food they had on their menus back in Egypt – everyone affected by the mortgage crisis can feel increasingly confident in God's care. The Israelites' journey wasn't easy, but they reached the Promised Land. The same Source of spiritual intuitions that guided Moses and the Israelites on their journey is here now. And those intuitions truly will guide anyone willing to follow them "safely home."

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