"Bubbles" are the talk of many towns today, but not the ones we blow in celebration when a bride and groom leave the church happily married. The talk is of housing price bubbles and their deflation.
According to many financial analysts, the concern is now global – bubbles in the plural – but most acutely, in some regions of the United States. However, potential drops in housing prices from historic highs also loom in Spain, Ireland, and other European countries. Homeowners and estate agents in Britain and Australia saw prices begin to fall and sales tighten in 2005.
Over a year ago, The Economist magazine reported that "the whole world economy is at risk.... The housing boom was fun while it lasted, but the biggest increase in wealth in history was largely an illusion" ("After the Fall," June 16, 2005).
The illusory nature of life in its bricks-and-mortar-world form is something that, thanks to Christian Science, anyone can come to understand. God, as infinite Spirit and permanent good, is, and bestows, the only substance that exists. And people are proving, healing by healing through prayer, that because the substance of who we are and what we have is spiritual, it cannot be diminished or destroyed.
True, when material life's illusion takes a form that almost anyone would initially believe is pleasing – in this case, material wealth and rising asset values – then the deception's exposure can be unsettling. But it's a healthy kind of disquiet that impels us to look for life's firmer ground.
People naturally find themselves asking God to show them more of who they really are and what they really own. What does it actually mean to be made and maintained "in the image of" the Infinite? While we wouldn't look to God for a "trophy home," a place for you is already and always prepared. Those words signify that every idea, every creature in God's creation, has an indelible home and purpose (see John 14:2).
Even if the economics of property price inflation, exotic mortgages, and foreclosure rates are not one's areas of expertise, there's something all of us can learn about human welfare, and about the spiritual laws of existence that shelter and advance humanity's well-being.
What about those spiritual laws of existence that Christian Science has brought to light? What might they mean for those who are concerned about their homes and financial footing? As a starting point, consider the 23rd Psalm's opening line, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
Those are more than just comforting words. They state a universal law that applies to each of us continuously. Because a loving God constantly supplies us with productive ideas, spiritual qualities of character, solid worth, and sheltering affection, we can expect to have meaningful work, and a place to shelter and prosper our usefulness to the world.
Spiritual logic says that divine Love must love and care for whatever it makes. We all may well wonder at some point if we can afford to renew an apartment lease, or how we'll make the next mortgage payment. But the "how to" will appear, as we trust the "why" of our very being. Trust God to be All, all the time. "If God be changeless goodness," Mrs. Eddy once wrote, "what place has chance in the divine economy?" ("Unity of Good," p. 26).
Even from the physics view of things, it isn't floors and roofs that hold us safely in place, but an unseen force called gravity. Likewise, the invisible but very real law of spiritual gravitation holds and prospers each of us. Your real home, as a spiritual idea, shelters you in perpetuity.
Adapted from an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.