Immigration is a hot-button issue worldwide. In US politics, it’s been a leading topic of debate for presidential candidates, as this week’s cover story points out.
While the issue of immigration seems to create a wall of division between the two major political parties, we can all do our part to address this important issue. And one of the most effective ways I know of is seeing difficult issues from a spiritual perspective.
As I’ve learned in my study and practice of Christian Science, prayer can open up vistas of thought that before weren’t considered, bringing the healing light that Christ Jesus consistently expressed to solve seemingly intractable problems.
At the heart of the issue of immigration is finding home. Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy, who followed Jesus’ teachings, recognized that all who seek God can find a true sense of home when she wrote, “Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 254). She described heaven in part as “Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality” (Science and Health, p. 587). Home, perceived in this spiritual light, becomes an opportunity to see how God’s direction and guidance can lead each one of us to safety and harmony. Such accounts can be found in texts as old as the Bible.
In one biblical example, Nehemiah prays to God and is led to rebuild his home city of Jerusalem to protect its inhabitants (see Nehemiah 1-6). Nehemiah learned that his patient labor and obedience to God were the true building blocks in this effort to bring a sense of security to his community.
Another example is beautifully expressed in the story of Ruth, who follows her mother-in-law into a new country (see the book of Ruth). Without assurance of a secure future as a widowed woman, she trusts God, who is Love, to guide her. Rather than thinking of home as merely a physical location or a place with direct family ties, her selfless expression of love toward others finds her a new husband and family and lasting connections in the land of Judah.
Her life was a testament to the fact that “With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren” (Science and Health, pp. 469, 470). Such examples of the power of prayer are what we can practice and prove today. The safety and belonging of home we each naturally desire are clarified as we see our habitation and our neighbors in a spiritual light. This perspective dissolves “us versus them” thinking and establishes everyone as “the guest of God.”
As both Bible stories show, starting with God, Love, leads to practical answers and harmonious outcomes. We might not solve the immigration quandary overnight, but on this spiritual basis we can all find a renewed sense of home that evidences possibilities beyond the political landscape.