Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.'' n1
n1 Science and Health, p. 254.
These words from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, n2 were of great comfort to me several years ago when I arrived in a city I had never seen before. I was traveling alone, but I left the plane with a great expectancy of good, for I knew that God , the source of all good, was right there and would care for me.
n2 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
I had learned, through study of the Bible in the light of Christian Science, that there is no place we can be where God, divine Love, is not, and that each of us is the much-loved offspring of God.
As we awake to the wonderful spiritual fact that we are always in divine Love's care, we find ourselves blessed in innumerable ways. Knowing we are never for a moment separated from God, we can feel at peace, regardless of our location. We may even find that our surroundings have an air of familiarity about them, although we have never actually been in a certain place before.
This proved to be the case during my trip to South America. I truly felt at home, ''part of the family,'' and was warmly received wherever I went. Throughout the trip I thought about what it means to abide in ''heaven,'' which Science and Health defines as ''harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul.'' n3
n3 Science and Health, p. 587.
Among other things, I understood that the qualities of God - His beauty, goodness, wisdom, love - are present everywhere. They were just as present in the places I was visiting as they were in my own country. Therefore nothing had to seem unfamiliar or foreign, and I could feel comfortable. I also knew that everyone I would meet was actually the outcome of God, just as I was, and that on this basis we could have much in common and could get along well. This did, indeed, occur.
The lessons learned on this trip are universally applicable. An understanding of the spiritual facts of being can bring harmony and continuity to the lives of individuals everywhere.
The world is full of people on the move - travelers, immigrants, refugees, individuals seeking asylum for political and other reasons. All can be benefited by a recognition of their true status as children of God. Everyone, in reality, is a full-fledged citizen in the kingdom of heaven, which Christ Jesus told us is forever at hand. Man's true selfhood isn't a struggling mortal but God's very likeness, and this truth can increasingly be brought to light, even though circumstances would deny the possibility. No one for a moment can really lose his God-given heritage of good.
The Apostle Paul, who traveled widely during Bible times, understood much of man's unchanging relationship to God and the ever-presence of His love. In a speech to the Athenians he affirmed an important spiritual truth when he reminded them that ''in him (God) we live, and move, and have our being.'' n4 And in his letter to the Ephesians he gave that wonderful reassurance ''Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.'' n5
n4 Acts 17:28.
n5 Ephesians 2:19.
Whether individuals are aware of God or not, He is still their actual Father-Mother, meeting every need. They can be benefited by the prayers of those who know this truth. We all can do much to help others feel at home, wherever they are, by realizing that each ''stranger'' is, in reality, a ''guest of God, '' provided for in every way. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from they presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and they right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10