SOMETIMES bad things, like eviction notices, urge us to look harder for God's blessings--and find them!
When I was a new student of Christian Science, I read everything that I could borrow from our neighborhood Christian Science Reading Room. I found the children's books especially delightful because they so beautifully and simply expressed God's unconditional love for His offspring (you and me). I had previously imagined God to be wrathful, changeable, judgmental. He was a ``big man in the sky.'' So it took some doing for me to grasp the tenderness and might of God, who is divine Mind.
One children's story that helped me went like this: A mother and her young daughter were riding a bus through a slum area. The girl asked her mother if someone could love God in such a place. The mother explained that if you understood the absolute goodness of Love, either the circumstances in the slum would improve or you would leave those conditions.
The story had deep meaning for me because I felt that I lived in bad conditions. I was a single mother trying to raise two young children. Our rented house was run-down. I had a limited budget, which meant, I thought, that I could not move or pay higher rent or pay moving expenses. I felt trapped.
Then it got worse: an eviction notice arrived in the mail. My first reaction was panic. But before I became completely paralyzed by panic, I turned to God in prayer. I also asked a friend to pray with me. We both understood that we needed to turn to and trust Love--God--in all circumstances. We began first by changing our view of the eviction. People often see eviction notices, pink slips, and other terminations as devastating. But, as we found, when we trust God's love and tender care for His creation, they can also catalyze wonderful spiritual progress. As Christ Jesus assures us in the Bible, in Matthew's Gospel, ``Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.''
While I prayed, I also took steps to find a new home. I looked at many three-bedroom apartments. All were well out of my price range, and I was still unable to afford the moving expenses.
I prayed persistently. As I began to understand better that God is Love and that Love knows only good, I realized that I am special--as is each person as God's child. It may take work to grasp how great our God is, but as I prayed, I came to see the omnipotence of divine Love and the fact that man is the reflection of Love's goodness. I began to trust that I would find the right apartment. I came to see that one is never evicted from God's love. One by one, the problems began to be solved.
One day while I was praying, the thought came that I should look at two-bedroom apartments with an eye to adaptation. Within days I found the perfect apartment. It had a family room that could be converted into the needed third bedroom, and I could afford the rent. Then a close relative gave me enough money to cover the moving expenses. A friend had curtains that ``just fitted.'' The new apartment met our needs so well that we stayed ten years.
Never before had I felt so special or felt that my children's needs were so beautifully met. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, gives us this assurance in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.'' I find it takes diligence to accept my God-given heritage of freedom. But even beginners, like I was, can reap the blessings of understanding divine Love's provision.