After the fire: how I prayed

First appeared as a web original on October 10, 2011.

A home provides safety, stability, and security in our lives. Whether we live in the largest mansion or the tiniest apartment, the joy of having a place to call home gives us a good measure of peace. And yet, it’s helpful to better understand the spiritual concept of home, instead of just thinking of it as the dwelling in which we may live. The securest sense of home I’ve found comes from a deepened understanding of God’s love for me and my family. This was made very clear to me through a recent experience where that sense of safety, stability, and many fond memories of home went up in smoke, literally.

My parents’ house was one of the more than 1,600 claimed by the Bastrop Complex fire that burned more than 34,000 acres in central Texas in September 2011. Shortly after I got the news of the fire, I travelled from my home in Missouri to help my parents dig through the rubble and begin the process of recovery. And yet, as a Christian Scientist, I knew I could do more. More than just bringing a trunk full of tools, I could bring an uplifted thought, one aligned with God and clear in the deepest sense of home, which would not be overwhelmed by the picture of loss and destruction. I strove to affirm and witness the love of God for my parents and all in that community.

That question of shock and disbelief did cross my mind. But almost right away, when my dad first called to tell me the news that their neighborhood had been affected, I knew I had a choice to make. I could be shocked and sad, opening the door of my thought to all the arguments about loss and injustice, or I could do the opposite. I chose to be calm, to be supportive, to be helpful, prayerful, and unimpressed. I chose to use what the teachings of Christian Science have given me—an understanding that the reality of God’s allness and goodness can reverse and negate what seems so real and powerful to the senses.

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March 19, 2012

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