IT was a cold night in February. My best friend and I were standing on a busy street corner in Boston with no place to stay for the night because our apartment building was temporarily condemned. All we had been allowed to take with us was our two cats and a shopping bag of clothing apiece. We were both praying about what to do. The first thing I thought of was that God gives only good to His children and that as His child I could trust in His care. This view wasn't based on blind faith or optimism. Instead, I was relying on what Christ Jesus taught about God's ever-present love. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus asked: ``What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?... If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?''1
As I thought along these lines, I became calmer and better able to think. Before long we had found someone who would take not only us but our cats, too. Within a week the dangerous condition in our apartment building had been corrected and we were able to return home. But the story doesn't end there.
Through the praying I did that week, I began to see home not so much as a material location but as a manifestation of qualities. For example, to me home includes joy, love, safety, beauty, light, harmony. These qualities may be expressed in many different ways. For instance, I once shared a house with a person who had many exquisite items of far greater value than anything I could have afforded. But because of this sharing their beauty became part of my home, too.
While our home expresses spiritual qualities, finding the appropriate place is not just a matter of thinking good thoughts or visualizing mentally the perfect house. It's more a question of seeing who we really are and what the source of all the good in our lives is.
In harmony with the Bible, Christian Science teaches that man is God's image, His reflection. This means that God, not man, is the originator. So spiritual qualities and their derivatives must come from God, Spirit, the one divine Ego. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Spiritual man is the likeness of this Ego. Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God.''2
Our true being, then, reflects the fullness of the divine nature. It includes every quality that constitutes home. The need is to to discern this in prayer, to understand that God is Love and that He loves His children and provides for their every need; that man is spiritual, complete, and that this is actually our true and only being.
We also need, step by step, to give up ungodlike thinking and living and strive instead to express the qualities we want for our home, whether or not we are looking for a place to live. If we are angry or frustrated, we are not acting or thinking in a Godlike way. But because we are in truth God's reflection, we can let go of these or any other destructive feelings that would obscure our sense of home.
God is a loving Father, who is already giving us all good. We do not need to persuade a far-off God to help us. Our efforts to put off ungodlike thinking help to purify our consciousness so we can more readily see what God has provided for us. To do this in a disciplined way requires regular, heartfelt prayer. As a result, our attitude toward others and toward our home will change. It may be that we will find ways to make our current quarters more satisfactory. Or we may be led to a completely new place.
That's what happened in my case. In less than a month after I had returned to the formerly condemned building, it became possible for me to rent with a friend a lovely house within easy commuting distance of my work, and a couple of years after that I was able to purchase a house.
If you need a place to live or a change of place, why not turn to God in prayer, recognizing that He is your good Father, who truly loves all His children. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
1Matthew 7:9, 11. 2Science and Health,p. 250.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want....Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalms 23:1,6