"The dearest spot on earth"

Everyone wants a home, yet many have no place to live. Is there a spiritual answer to homelessness?

Almost daily, newspapers and magazines dramatize the plight of the homeless worldwide, and television gives graphic portrayals of how and where they live. Population shifts and other events such as economic hardships, government repression, drought, or floods have created a new class of seemingly permanent homeless. All of them are looking for some kind of shelter or refuge until a home of their own can be found.

Surely, many feel compassion for the homeless and a desire to assist in some way. Humanitarian efforts help and are vitally needed. But the apparently insolvable nature of the problem impels us to look deeper into the whole question of what home really is—what establishes it and where we can find a home that cannot be taken from us.

Perhaps we can take a hint from the humble snail, which carries its house on its back. At the sign of any danger, it takes refuge in that house and is safe. When we are facing a difficult situation or danger, we too can take refuge in something we can carry with us wherever we go—the acknowledgment of the ever-available power of God to protect and guide us. God, who is infinite Love, is always right where we are. Think what this means! Faced with lack and desperate need, we may find it hard to acknowledge this truth. But it is this very truth that can free us from imprisoning, limiting, downward-pulling thoughts that would keep us from seeing how God can meet our human needs, such as finding a home.

November 5, 1990

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