Housing on a solid foundation
A Christian Science perspective.
While housing markets have suffered in various parts of the world, the situation is particularly troublesome in the United States, and this has a significant impact on the global economy. Home sales are a kingpin in the US economy. But the latest news indicates that the housing sector is faltering rather than staging a comeback. Despite a historic combination of record low mortgage rates and low prices, for a variety of reasons people are not making the purchases needed for market stability and growth.
More than just physical structures, homes symbolize security and serve as a focal point for productive living. And these housing concerns point to a broad need for us to consider the people worldwide who lack even the basic rudiments of adequate housing. Rather than accept the present conditions as bleak and hopeless, or beyond anyone’s control, we’ll do well to consider them instead as a call to prayer – as an opportunity to prove in smaller and bigger ways that God’s omnipotent control of creation is more than just theory.
Whether or not at the moment you find yourself in urgent need of housing, at risk of losing your home, or living in security, we all want to feel that shelter and comfort for ourselves and our loved ones are guaranteed, now and in the future. And there’s a promise – a divine home-providing promise – that will come progressively into focus through understanding our unchanging identity as God’s beloved sons and daughters.
Mary Baker Eddy discovered that prayer based on spiritual truth is more than just good thinking; it rests on divine law and is provable as divine Science. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: ‘For in Him we live, and move, and have our being’ ” (p. 361). The implications of this unbreakable relationship each individual has with the one Father-Mother are profound, extending to the structures we call home. Seeking to understand more of this truth, we’ll be heeding the advice of Jesus Christ, who, at the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount, taught the importance of building a house on rock rather than on sand (see Matt. 7:24-27).
Speaking of Jerusalem – a city that has symbolized home to generations – the book of Isaiah makes a tremendous promise for those who choose to construct their concept of where they dwell on a spiritual basis: “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken” (28:16, New Living Translation). Here there is no vulnerability to lacking home, missing home, or losing home. Whether one is praying about a sick body or a troubled housing situation, we can expect healing prayer, as taught by Jesus and illumined in the Science of Christ, to set us on stable footing. As many have told in the pages of the Christian Science Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal for over a century, spiritual understanding brings the inspiration that uplifts consciousness and sparks useful ideas, revealing God-inspired answers to human needs, in whatever form is needed. It has led people to find housing in times of acute shortages, resolved hopeless real estate transactions, and brought homeless people into places of security and prosperity.
Science and Health offers two contrasting descriptions of Jerusalem. The first is “mortal belief and knowledge obtained from the five corporeal senses; the pride of power and the power of pride; sensuality; envy; oppression.” It’s hard not to miss how that characterizes so much of the thinking and behavior that fueled the housing crisis. But rather than associate home with those states of thought and action, we can instead choose to identify our dwelling place with the inspired view of Jerusalem, which is simple and beautiful: “Home; heaven” (p. 589). (Indeed, the word Jerusalem can be rendered “abode of peace.”)
We can begin to dwell on – hold in consciousness – a stable, constant, heavenly concept of home, every bit as available to one as to another. Each day we can accept a little bit more the spiritual fact that all children of God are one with Him, never separate from the comfort and security He gives as a divine birthright. When even just a few of us pursue this line of reasoning, we begin to fight back against the hopeless outlook that says humanity’s need for adequate housing cannot be met, or that the economy is likely to falter because of market conditions beyond our control. As we direct our thoughts toward our home in God, guaranteed forever for all, this must result in improved housing conditions both on the micro and macro levels.
Adapted from an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.