Enlarge the borders of love
A Christian Science perspective: It’s important to find room in hearts and homes for refugees.
I am deeply inspired by reports in the news of individuals and communities throughout Europe working to offer places of refuge for hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking a safe place to live.
Through my study and practice of Christian Science, and having had modest opportunities to open my own doors to those in need, it’s natural to me that there is adequate room for today’s refugees – all of whom are truly cherished children of God, divine Love.
The first time I was faced with the chance to take in a stranger came as a surprise.
My husband and I were recently married, both traveling extensively for our work, when a friend asked us to consider sharing our home with a woman we’d never met and whom she knew only a little. Our friend explained that this woman was making a life change and needed a place to call home, where she would feel welcome and able to pursue a lifelong goal. At first we thought, “Why us? We’re just getting established, we like our privacy, and we enjoy making our home together, just the two of us.” Fortunately, this kind of reasoning was not comfortable to either of us. We were learning through our study of the Bible that following Christ Jesus’ example of open-armed, all-inclusive, unselfish love for God and man was really the only way to live (see Matthew 22:37-40). This was an opportunity to demonstrate that.
As we prayed, we found our understanding of home growing and expanding. We knew our home would be best utilized to bless ourselves and others if we trusted God to help us make our home a nurturing and warm place. Understanding that we are all children of God, having one Father-Mother, meant there was no stranger, just God’s child, ready and willing to give and receive love. We could only ever be enriched by the opportunity to know God’s creation better. There is freedom and safety in trusting God, and doing so brought clarity to our decision. Isaiah 54:2 states, “Enlarge the place of thy tent.” As we let go of limited, self-centered thinking, it was natural that we were ready to include this individual in our home.
Home is more than the place we purchase, furnish, and live in. Home is not limited to a location, and it can’t be taken from anyone. Instead, home is the active presence and power of generous, joyous, tender, divine Love. It’s right at hand, and it’s established by God. The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, once said, “Home is not a place but a power. We find home when we arrive at the full understanding of God” (Irving C. Tomlinson, “Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy,” p. 156; Amplified Edition, p. 211).
In our experience, enlarging our trust in God to unite us as one harmonious family made room in our hearts for a deserving houseguest. We were all tenderly blessed. Our time together lasted for a couple of years until my husband and I moved from the area. We still consider this dear one as part of our family.
Since then, our home has been blessed by newcomers and enlarged by Love countless times. Each opportunity brings an expanded understanding of God’s generous love that is both individual and universal. Mrs. Eddy writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters’ ” (p. 13). God is the ultimate provider of love and grace, arranging a place for all and enlarging every heart and home.