Home and Heaven
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
A few months ago a photograph in this newspaper caught my eye. The saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" would explain this photograph of a console piano left outside in a war-torn park. Standing in front of the piano, fingering the keys, was a Russian soldier. The park was in Grozny, Chechnya. The contrast of a soldier in the midst of a war tinkering a tune out of a piano that had seen better, more glorious days touched my heart. Even though I've never been in a war, there have been times when I've felt such contrasts between beauty and misery in my life. We all at some point may feel in great need of peace, solace, and comfort.
Perhaps, too, this photograph caught my eye because of what a piano means to me. As I was growing up, playing the piano for hours on end was one way I found peace. But later I learned that music wasn't enough actually to heal everything. Eventually I turned to something that truly does heal. I turned to God.
Wanting God to heal us is practical, no matter what we are facing. It's practical because wherever we are, God is. God's presence is consistent, constantly available, protecting, and comforting. Knowing this, anyone is able then to turn to God for needed peace.
Inner peace, as well as a peaceful life, is something that many people have yearned for for centuries. For instance, in the Bible Isaiah wrote, "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem" (66:13). This is not only a tremendous promise but also a demand. With God, there is no choice-His creation must be comforted in His presence, satisfied with His power. In the presence of God there can only be assurance and solace. In Him, which is where we are, discord, inharmony, hatred, and evil must dissolve, because they are the opposites of Him.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, called her primary work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In this book Mrs. Eddy teaches that Jerusalem, the city mentioned in that Bible passage, is not just a location on a map. It has a more spiritual signification as "home, heaven" (p. 589). This sheds light upon what Isaiah was saying. Isn't it true that what many people are searching for is the comfort of a home, or a heaven? Well, this comfort isn't something we have to wait for. It's not a far-off event, or existing in another location that we hope to live in or travel to.
Christ Jesus taught the startling truth that home is right here, right now. In Luke the Bible records, "When he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (17:20, 21).
Home and heaven are not dependent on physical places. God's kingdom is within you because it is always within consciousness. In other words, it is within your spiritual understanding-your familiarity with God and His nature. Understanding that you can never be separated from God and His supreme power, any more than you can be separated from your thoughts, you learn you can actually lean upon Him during times of trouble. This inseparability of God and man is expressed in human life because of the truth that thought determines experience. It's not surprising that as one gains a deeper understanding of God's love, he or she will find that the turmoil, anger, dismay-all evil-begin to fade. They fade until they finally disappear, and the opposite conditions take their place. Once again, this happens first within thought, and then in daily life. This is the nature of Christian healing.
But don't think this spiritual growth has to take time. It doesn't take the rotation of the sun to find our home, that heaven within; it takes thought, conscious devotion to seeking the truth. This is also a devotion to ridding oneself of discord. And sometimes the contrast of good and evil, like the contrast of music and war, is what promotes this growth.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.