Finding home in Japan

A Christian Science perspective: How finding home is possible even under the most dire conditions.

Many heart-wrenching stories are coming from Japan these days, and one is the news of those who have been displaced from their homes. Some people don’t know whether they will be able to return home; and others, whose homes were destroyed, don’t know where their next home will be.

Prayer can support people today who are facing homelessness. One hymn that I’ve found really helpful in praying during such times is by Joseph H. Gilmore. It refers to God’s continuous guidance:

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me.
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
(“Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 95)

As the hymn brings out, God’s all-encompassing love and direction of His beloved children can lead all people to their rightful home, to a consciousness of their security, harmony, and love. These and other qualities of home aren’t just expressed in place or location, but by a state of thought that is at peace. I have felt the power of “home” on a train, under the canvas of a tent, at a football match.

The Bible has many stories of God leading His people to this state of awareness, which helps bring about peace in the face of turmoil and destruction. The children of Israel were provided for in the wilderness, as they wandered in search of a homeland. And think of Abraham, David, and Job. For all these people it seemed at times that discord and insurmountable problems would alienate them from seeing the will of God, good, carried out. But their experiences show that adherence to faith in God’s guidance and direction revealed a way that was not thought physically possible at the time.

I have always been encouraged by the story of Job, who refused to take the advice of his friends and wife but maintained his trust in God by declaring, “He performeth the thing that is appointed for me” (Job 23:14). He was subsequently justified through his regeneration. In fact, the Bible declares that his latter state was more blessed than his beginning. He found his real home through trust in God.

In our prayers for the people of Japan, we can insist that each individual can also experience this spiritual sense of home with its qualities of peace, freedom, wisdom, and joy. God’s goodness and presence are right there; no one has to go in search of God’s love. Affirming this spiritual reality helps support whatever is pure and Godlike in the people’s quest for their true spiritual home.

Christian Science reveals to us that the heavenly condition is not something that is a future state, but can be experienced right now. Christ Jesus gave us the assurance that the kingdom of heaven (or God) is at hand (see Matt. 4:17). That kingdom is ruled by harmony, grace, wisdom, freedom, and orderliness – all qualities of the omnipresent God.

Another thing I’ve found encouraging is the spiritual fact that home, or the consciousness of the divine presence, is a natural God-given faculty that cannot be separated from His creation.

God is not a god of wrath, but a divine presence that comforts, guards, and guides both our thought and action to perform His will. We cannot be divorced from God anymore than a sunbeam can be separated from the sun, and that fact of Life sustains our understanding of life as spiritual. All, no matter where they live, can experience the presence and guidance of God.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, reminded us of God’s promise: “Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 254).

No power can stop the activity and presence of God’s nature from being expressed in a way that we can both understand and see. Our prayer, affirming the presence of God, is effective. It brings this consciousness home, as God shows us His pathway.

For a Portuguese translation of this article, see The Herald of Christian Science.

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