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Home, unconfined

From the March 12, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Home can be such an important part of our lives, providing a sense of security and stability. But what happens when one’s home changes, whether by choice or not? Does the comfort of home change, too?

A story in the Bible in the book of Ruth gives such a good illustration of finding true home. After Ruth married, she left her family to live with her husband’s family. After her husband died, her mother-in-law, Naomi, gave Ruth her blessing to return to her family. We might assume this would also mean a return to the comfort of a more familiar culture. But Ruth said she would stay with Naomi. 

To me, this points to a higher sense of home, unconfined by location and governed by God, Love. And it was Ruth’s pure trust in God that led her forward with Naomi to meet Boaz, a man who recognized Ruth’s goodness and not only helped to provide food and home for the women, but eventually became Ruth’s husband.

Acknowledging Ruth’s pure trust, Boaz said, “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust” (Ruth 2:12).

What can this story mean for us today?

Now and always, we can look to God, Spirit, as our unlimited and ever-present provider. If physical locations or buildings had any bearing on God’s presence, then that would mean divine Spirit wasn’t completely spiritual and could be confined to one place, or not even available in another—an impossibility for infinite Spirit. Understanding the infinitude of Spirit can remove fear of change, because it assures us that God, good, is unchanging and unchangeable.

Understanding the infinitude of Spirit can remove fear of change.

As Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (Second Corinthians 5:1). Qualities such as comfort, security, and stability are actually spiritual—not confined to physical locations or buildings and not dictated by familiarity, but originating with God, who is unchanging Love.

Psalm 90 declares: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (verses 1, 2). This statement helps me see both the timelessness and permanence of home, founded in and maintained by God. The more we acknowledge God as our true “dwelling place,” the more clearly we can see and experience the unchangeable, spiritual qualities of home, and discover their presence and permanence wherever we are. And these qualities can be manifested in very practical, tangible ways that meet our needs.

A friend of mine recently helped her parents move from their home of many years into an assisted-living facility. While making this change wasn’t easy at first, every step of the transition was supported by the family’s prayers as they acknowledged God as their guide and His love as their home. Each day, as their thoughts about home grew more spiritual, a little more resistance to the change melted away and was replaced with confidence and trust.

Moreover, my friend told me that every day during this process her family’s needs were very practically met; they found just the right place and plenty of kind and efficient helpers. The security and stability of home were certainly not lost, but grew stronger and more permanent as my friend and her family recognized each expression of God’s care.

The experience was so harmonious, in fact, that another man who was helping his parents move into the same facility stopped one day to tell my friend’s family that he felt such love coming from them, and he just needed to express his gratitude. My friend was glad to share with this man that her family had been getting to know God better—as divine Mind guiding them and ensuring everyone’s peace and happiness—and that everyone, not just her family, was included in this perfect harmony. The man gratefully acknowledged the effectiveness of their prayers.

To me, this experience illustrated these words from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science: “Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections” (p. 58).

While we certainly cherish home and the comfort it provides, we can broaden our concept of home so that it becomes unencumbered by physical location or possessions. Understanding God as the true dwelling place, we find our home and everyone’s to be all-inclusive, ever present, and permanent.

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More on this topic: Our part in the assimilation process

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