Home - Where Is It?
DRIVING through a traffic tunnel on my way to work one day, I was saddened to see some apparently homeless individuals sleeping huddled together in an area just off the busy roadway. It was a winter morning, and although the tunnel afforded more shelter and warmth than above ground, it was filled with the exhaust fumes of the cars driving through. It was not a pleasant spot to sleep or to call home.What is it that we call home? Is it a physical place, or a way of thinking or feeling? Is it beautiful furnishings and other creature comforts, a physical building that shelters us from the weather, a cardboard box to keep out the rain? Or is it really more being safe, at peace, perfectly at ease, free to be completely ourselves? Isn't the home we all yearn for found in an awareness of God's presence and protection with us wherever we are? The beginning of the ninety-first Psalm reads: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. How does an understanding of God relate to our sense of home? It is the knowledge of the ever-presence of God, good, that makes us feel "at home. The understanding that God is All and that He is good, that He maintains and cares for His image and likeness, man--this is what shelters us and keeps us safe. Two months before my husband and I were expecting our first child, he got orders from the Navy, and we had to move to another state and find a new home. After arriving in the city where my husband was to be based, we pulled into the parking lot of the motel where we would be staying while we looked for a home. Our room wasn't ready, so we went over to the Navy base to see what we could find out about available housing in the area. It didn't seem promising. Feeling discouraged, we returned to the motel. W hile my husband went to see if our room was ready, I waited in the car and continued praying to realize that God was caring for all His children. A car pulled in next to ours. The driver asked if we were moving into town. When I replied that we were, she told me that she was looking for someone to take over the lease on the house that she and her family were renting, because they had finally been assigned housing on base. The house met our needs exactly. We were able to move and get settled before our baby arrived. We felt this was an illustration of the power of prayer. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of God's unchanging care in Miscellaneous Writings: "Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home. We were indeed guided "safely home, as we have been in subsequent moves. But more important than the smooth transition to a new dwelling was our increased understanding of the idea of home, the spiritual qualities that constitute it, and the fact that these qualities are present everywhere for all of God's children. God does indeed care for us--directing us to our right place, enlightening us, and guiding all our right activities. But what about the homeless we see on our city streets? Is there a home for them? The fact is that God, divine Love, is caring for each and every one of us, and our prayers can help bring that fact to light for those in need. As we come to understand more deeply what makes up the true idea of home, we will see God's promise in Isaiah fulfilled: "And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.