Finding home wherever you are

When we let God guide our interactions with friends and strangers alike, we’re yielding to the infinite Love that breaks through proverbial walls.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Today marks World Freedom Day, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. This day is especially meaningful to our family, since my husband’s father fled East Berlin with his parents after World War II, escaping Russian occupation.

This decision changed the course of their lives, including allowing them the freedom to practice Christian Science. How could my husband’s parents have foreseen that they would eventually send their son to a college in the United States to study international relations, and that as a young man he would personally experience the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall?

My husband eventually became a US citizen, and has fully embraced his new homeland. He often refers to a line from the “Christian Science Hymnal” that has stayed with him since he first came to the States: “Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee” (P.M., No. 278, adapt. © CSBD). This idea is echoed in a passage from the Christian Science textbook: “Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 254).

Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science came from her inspired study of the Bible, which provides a wealth of insight on the subject of this heavenly home we all share. Christ Jesus’ healing ministry showed us that “we live, and move, and have our being” in God, as the Apostle Paul later said (Acts 17:28). We live in divine Spirit, where God’s love embraces and cares for each one of us impartially, with no consciousness of what language we speak or what we look like. That’s because God knows us not as mortals divided by various human labels, but in our true nature as His spiritual creation.

Through this lens, we all have the divine right, as the children of God, to experience and feel a sense of belonging, equality, and acceptance wherever we are. We can never truly be separated from God, good. From this standpoint we are not strangers to one another, but brothers and sisters in God. And we are capable of knowing and expressing our distinct identity as the very image and expression of infinite Love.

Love, God, transcends borders and communicates in the language of Spirit, reaching hearts and minds with a clarity and affection that surpasses a limited sense of love. Christian Science defines this voice as the Christ, God’s message of truth and love, which is communicated to each of us in a way we can understand. “The ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound,” Science and Health explains (p. 559). Christ is still very much present to inspire healing solutions to needs of all kinds.

Many years ago when I taught English to second-language learners, one of my high school students tearfully confided to me that she was being bullied by her host family, who seemed only interested in the compensation they received for housing her during her year as an exchange student.

I reached out to the student’s homestay coordinators, and prayed for a solution. As it happened, I had spent a summer in her home country and had been treated with such kindness and hospitality. I knew that these qualities of love and caring stem from divine Love and are therefore not limited by the borders of our family home, culture, language, or familiar surroundings. Rather, we are all created to feel and express these spiritual qualities.

As I prayed, it came to me to invite my student to stay at my home for the weekend, which was a helpful and happy time for all of us. The next week a new homestay family volunteered to house her for the rest of the year. She switched high schools and we lost touch – until just recently, when, after several decades, she found me on social media and thanked me for my help, sharing that she’d never forgotten how much it had meant to her.

This experience serves as a reminder to me that we can all do our part to welcome our neighbors – wherever they’re from, whatever their background may be – by striving to demonstrate more fully the divine Love that breaks through proverbial walls. “My children, our love should not be only words and talk. Our love must be true love. And we should show that love by what we do” (I John 3:18, International Children’s Bible).

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