HOME is where we're rooted -- where we go out from and come back to. It marks a center for our talents and activities, provides a mooring for our affections. So when we relocate permanently in another country or culture or even when travel takes us temporarily to new places, feeling out of place or alienated can seem natural. The fact is, it's not. It's such feelings that are alien. And we can justly and summarily banish them because they are without a shred of validity. We cannot cast out aggressive feelings of isolation and estrangement, however, on the basis of what our eyes and ears tell us of new surroundings -- or new neighbors. For what the material senses report is only a superficial view, a limited and highly inaccurate assessment of things. These senses start with externals -- with all the differences in sounds, sights, tastes, smells, language, and customs -- from which it is impossible not to conclude that we are all essentially strangers to each other. These senses tend to focus on what separates rather than what unites, what differs rather than what is common among us. Such a starting place obviously can't lead us to greater feelings of brotherhood and family and so provide a foundation on which we can feel at home. But matter-based observations and perceptions are just that way. They always start with appearances -- with what seems to be -- rather than with what is. But we're not bound to start with appearances. Christ Jesus didn't. He started with the real. He started with God, infinite Spirit, or Love. And the results from starting with God contrast dramatically with the conclusions of matter-based thinking. For one thing, what remained in the wake of Jesus' three years of teaching, preaching, and healing was not deeper division but the most profound and genuine wholeness, harmony, and peace. For so many of the lives he touched, health had superseded disability and disease and even death; broken hearts had been mended, and arrogant or sin-filled ones had been chastened and cleansed. To be sure, upheaval had come as well. But this was not a signal that disunity and chaos were the state of reality. On the contrary, it was evidence that the true order of things -- health, goodness, purity, oneness -- was pushing out the false, showing the fragility of appearances and the right, bedrock nature of what Christ Jesus was preaching to the world.
And what did he preach? Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``He recognized Spirit, God, as the only creator, and therefore as the Father of all.''1 This recognition of the eternal, perfect relationship of God and man resulted in Jesus' seeing others in their true light -- as sons and daughters of God, always at home in His love. It was this correct perception of man as wholly spiritual and loved that brought healing and dominion to those who sought Christ Jesus in need. And it's this simple spiritual fact that causes us to perceive yet another vital revelation: that, in reality, we are all members of a single, universal, spiritual family with but one Parent -- God, divine Love. None of us, then -- in the truest sense -- is a foreigner.
In describing Jesus and his mission of reconciliation between God and mankind -- and, in consequence, among all individuals -- the Apostle Paul wrote: ``For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.... Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.''2
This truthful assertion is full of truth still. And the Christ-spirit that animated Jesus is equally timeless and present and alive. We need to choose for ourselves, however, whether this truth will guide our thoughts and actions and feelings or whether we will allow geography, circumstances, or familiarity to dictate our happiness and activate our affections. From the perspective of space, there are no racial or social boundaries dividing one nation from another or breaking up one country into many parts. From the perspective of God's love, all creation -- including every single individual as God's spiritual, perfect man -- is one seamless whole.
This moment the opportunity is ripe for embracing that God-based perspective and allowing our lives to conform to it. We can refuse to feel like a foreigner; refuse to feel displaced or unloved. ``Pilgrim on earth,'' writes Mrs. Eddy, ``thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.''3
1Science and Health, p. 31. 2Ephesians 2:14, 19. 3Science and Health, p. 254. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: In him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:28