A happy home ranks high on the list of blessings most desired by mankind. But how many realize that each of us, right now, can start building the kind of home his heart yearns for?
In the most fundamental sense, home building can begin only in thought. The kind of home we occupy depends on our choice of mental building materials: the kind of thoughts we think, the ideals we cherish, the purposes we pursue.
Tasteful decor may make a house appear beautiful, but the happiness of a home depends not upon outward appearances but upon the inner graces of Spirit, the love and unselfishness expressed by the household. Such inner grace embellishes a home as nothing else can, bringing into expression the beauty of true being.
Building a home then becomes not just a process of laying brick on brick or timber against timber. It means opening thought to the reality of man's being and his inseparability from God.
This exalted approach to home building may seem impractical to many faced with the immediacies of dislocation, disaster, incompatibility, or other of the myriad misfortunes that seem to threaten the happiness of homes today. But the fact that home is a spiritual concept, not a material structure, can be proved.
Such proving brings into one's experience the right kind of home to meet his human need. It also establishes an invincible assurance of man's security, of being "at home" wherever one is. How does this come about?
The answer can be found in the textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy. Throughout her writings Mrs. Eddy frequently links the word home with heaven. For example, "Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven." Science and Health, p. 254; And she defines "heaven" as "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul." p. 587;
When one's concept of home is thus spiritualized, it becomes clear that one cannot actually leave home or ever be deprived of it. Can the reign of Spirit, or government by divine Principle, or spirituality, or bliss, or atmosphere of Soul be localized and limited to just one place? No, these divine concepts are universal, available to all. They cannot be displaced or destroyed. We never need go elsewhere to find them, nor can we in fact be separated from them.
We can therefore rejoice in a right sense of home wherever we may be. This right sense of home, faithfully maintained in consciousness, brings into adjustment any untoward circumstances momentarily seeming to surround us.
Through many years of frequent uprooting and moving about the country I have often experienced proofs of these facts. One proof came at a time of almost desperate need.
Years ago, as a young widow, I encountered a series of severe experiences culminating in an illness worsened by grief over my mother's passing, which left me "alone in the world." My employers kindly decided to transfer me to their home office, where they thought conditions might be easier.
At the human level I saw no solutions to my problems. But gratitude for the help of a Christian Science practitioner and for the kindness of my employers gradually dissolved a self-will that had complicated the problems. I finally saw that our Father-Mother God was caring for all my needs and would lead me to the home that must be found in my new location. Right then, in the midst of trials, I began to see that man's oneness with God always includes the right manifestation of home.
Following what I accepted as divine guidance, I rented by long-distance telephone an apartment, which proved to be a model of comfort, convenience, and beauty. In reaching out to God I had established in my thought the truth of home. As love, harmony, and friendship enfolded me there, the grievous problems were solved one by one, and I was restored to normal activity.
But there was still a lesson to be learned. I found myself dreading the probable day when I would again be transferred and have to leave this ideal situation. As I prayed about it, the thought came, "What a foolish fear! Certainly I can rejoice that the divine Love, which has so bountifully provided so much happiness, will have something even better prepared for me when this place has served its purpose." My trust was rewarded. The forward step I eventually took lifted me into new spheres of progress and an even happier home.
Holding in thought the spiritual facts greatly broadens our sense of home. It shows home to be not merely a house or a place, but rather a dependable spiritual refuge, a shelter against all hazards. An understanding that man ever lives in the presence of God, his creator, and therefore is ever at home, can bless in unexpected ways.
Some months ago my husband and I were driving along a river road toward our house. When we were about two miles from there, a long-gathering storm struck with shocking force. Hail swept down on us with the rattle of gunfire. The hailstones blanketed out the road ahead and piled inches deep around us.
We had no choice but to stop where we were on the highway, where anyone managing to drive behind us in the blinding hail might have crashed into us. As we both prayed silently in the din, the thought intruded, "If only we could have gotten home!" Then in the midst of all that roaring violence I suddenly knew, "We are home. We are safe in God's care."
Within a few minutes the fury subsided, and we reached home in complete safety. The barrage of hail had not left a scratch on the car nor cracked a window.
The abiding sense of being ever at home in God's care provides a sure foundation on which to establish the home that as human beings we need for shelter. It is the assurance of spiritual oneness with God that Christ Jesus commended when he said: "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." Matt. 7:24, 25;
When we truly recognize our being as secure upon the rock of Life, Truth, and Love, we can never be without the right manifestation of home and protection in our human experience.
Nor can we be tricked by mortal mind into expressing anything that would either negate the harmony that keynotes home or imperil the precious human relationships that center there. Recognition of the imperishable spiritual nature of home encourages all within the household to express love, consideration, unselfishness, cooperation, joy.
Any life—any home—thus founded on the rock of Christ, Truth, can withstand the winds of change that send fear swirling through the hearts of men. It can fearlessly face and survive so-called natural disasters.
A God-governed home can surmount the subtle mental and overt physical attacks that today would tear down mankind's most cherished values. Individuals maintaining such a haven in consciousness know that they do indeed, now and forever, dwell "in the secret place of the most High" Ps. 91:1.—their home indestructible.