After growing up in a house in a Boston suburb, I lived successively in a college dormitory, an army officers' club in Germany, a hotel for women in Los Angeles, on a guest ranch in the desert, in various apartments, and in a rented room in a condo. I am now a resident of a retirement community.
And I moved in and out of all these places without ever leaving home! Like a turtle, I have carried my home with me. Not as a physical structure, but first and foremost as a mental concept.
As a child, without making a conscious effort to do so, I developed a sense of home as having the qualities of comfort and love, represented in a place where my friends were welcome and I could grow and explore my identity; where God was acknowledged as a healing presence.
Once on my own, I found that my concept of home began to also include attractiveness, convenience, and affordability. Whenever circumstances required a change in residence, I would turn to God in prayer before beginning a search for housing. I was familiar with the words of Jesus Christ "In my Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2). I had the conviction that one of these mansions was mine. I felt that with God I was always in the place that was right for me, and that of necessity this would not just bless me but would also bless the landlord who was looking for a tenant.
Thus spiritually armed, I would go on to answer an ad or look at a place recommended by a friend. I don't recall ever looking at more than two places whenever a move was called for before feeling that I had found exactly the right housing for me at that particular time.
Wherever I have lived, I have always immediately felt at home. This wasn't because of the locations; it was because that same secure sense of home went with me wherever I moved. It wasn't dependent on square footage, closet space, or any other physical condition, but was based on my closeness to God. And satisfying living conditions naturally came as a result.
The title of this article mentions looking for home rather than for a home. This is because finding home as a spiritual concept is primary, and expedites and enlightens the finding of any given place to live. As the special qualities of a happy home are prominent in thought, the physical transition to a new residence unfolds naturally and continues to expand - under God's direction.
This approach to what home truly is comes from the teaching of Christian Science, discovered by a woman named Mary Baker Eddy. Her search of the Bible revealed to her the scientific basis for the healing that Jesus practiced. She found that a growing understanding of the law of God, which she gave as another name for Christian Science, not only heals physically but also leads to a more stable and expansive sense of family, employment, and home. She wrote, "Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections" ("Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 58).
Every individual is the likeness of God and must be complete in every way. Must have all that is needed to express God, including a happy home. We all "live, and move, and have our being" in God (Acts 17:28). He never made any of His children homeless. The best way to find the very good home God gives us is by getting to know Him as infinite good and learning about His laws as revealed in the Bible.
A house may be lost to fire, flood, earthquake, financial trouble. But none of these can touch a sound concept of what home is. No home that's built upon the spiritual understanding that God shelters all His loved children can be lost or abandoned. It is something you take with you wherever you go.
If you aren't one already, let this new sense of home turn you into a spiritual turtle!
You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at (www.tfccs.com).