Unlocking Home's Treasure

HEN I think of an ideal home I think of it as being a place for affection, protection, growth, and fulfillment. These are home's treasures, and they can be experienced by everyone. Whether our home has just one resident, or two, or several, we can expect to be strengthened and nurtured as more of this treasure comes forth in our lives.I was given an important object-lesson about the impact home's treasures can have on each of our lives by an experience I had with my son not long ago. Until a couple of years ago, I had expected that my son would have difficulty making friends because he had a sharp tongue. He appeared to me to alienate other youngsters. I spent a good deal of time trying to straighten him out by explaining how such a sharp tongue could cost him friendship. But one spring day something happened that changed my perception of him. I saw that his friends really liked him. They didn't seem bothered by his sharpness. I saw that I needed to "like him too. I mean, I stopped trying to remake him my way and, instead, began trusting God and the powerful reach of His healing love. My affection for my son took on a deeper, more spiritual tone. I saw that my real duty as a parent was to love my son in a way that would nurture him with opportunities for spiritual growth and fulfillment. As I stopped trying to fix what I thought was wrong with him and began appreciating his God-given individuality, I felt much better. I also began to see more of the quick wit and boyish sense of fun that his friends had responded to from the start. I loved him all along, of course. But now I know better than ever why he's a true treasure to me! In some ways I'd been taking the affection and nurturing I associated with home for granted. But when I saw the practical impact these qualities had on our lives, it began to deepen my own appreciation of home, including everyone living within it. Christ Jesus once likened the kingdom of heaven to "treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. When we value something deeply, we do what's necessary to preserve and enrich it. Isn't the spiritual content of this "kingdom of heaven the key to valuing the spiritual qualities of home that bring healing and peace to our lives? Home, of course, is much more than an orderly arrangement of building materials. And it's also more than a convenient grouping of people. Man--as God creates him--is the spiritual focus of God's kingdom, which is our genuine spiritual home. So often we underestimate the true nature of God and of man in His image. It can seem that outside forces can spoil, to some degree, home's treasure. Correcting such a situation begins with a recognition of the power of God to keep man in the care of divine Love. God creates and governs man. And God, divine Spirit, is not left out of His own work. Man, the spiritual man made in God's own image, belongs to God. If we are identifying ourselves merely with the view of man as a mortal, who is dependent on physicality for life, we'll miss home's treasures. They'll stay buried in the field of conventional thought. But when we turn to the spiritual view of creation, we'll find spiritual treasures spilling out to bless our lives. Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered and founded Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The testimony of the corporeal senses cannot inform us what is real and what is delusive, but the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures of Truth. Prayer is the important key in unlocking home's treasure. It's often tempting--especially when our home doesn't seem to be all that it should be--to try to dig out goodness with lots of effort, lots of coaxing and talking, and sometimes, lots of anger as well. That's really what I had been doing with my son--trying to make goodness appear the way I thought it should. But prayer helps us realize that the real treasure isn't in a human personality but in the truth that man is the spiritual image and lik eness of God. Prayer isn't a tool to force others to change. It's spiritual activity--a communion with God-- that helps open our own thought to the truth of man. It can make us part of the treasure for others at home, rather than part of what's hiding it. Prayer helps free each one of us from any earthbound sense of dependency and shows the real union of each individual with God, divine Love. Then follows that lively sense of activity, cooperation, and mutual support that each home should know.

BIBLE VERSE Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

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