When our house burned

It seemed like everything was falling apart. Our house had burned, and the whole top floor had been destroyed. My dad had lost his job and wanted a divorce from my mom. I needed new clothes but didn’t have any money. I didn’t know what to do, but one night on the phone with my mom, her firm but reassuring voice helped me understand that I should stay at college and not come home. Somehow, I was able to listen to my mom’s loving words and to trust, in a small way, that God was taking care of all of us. 

But it seemed like a disaster. I was hundreds of miles away with no one to turn to and no way to support my family. I felt helpless and useless. 

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What was I going to do? I had learned in Christian Science Sunday School, and through many experiences growing up, that God takes care of us because He loves us—because He is Love itself. Love fills all space, and we can rely on it no matter what we’re facing. I’d read this idea in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, and it comforted me now: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494). I realized that even if I didn’t understand how it would happen, God, divine Love, would meet my needs and my family’s needs. This was a fact I could count on, and it brought me peace.

 I was hundreds of miles away with no one to turn to, and no way to support my family. I felt helpless and useless. 

As I kept praying, the idea came to talk to the man who ran the kitchen on campus, and he gave me a job preparing meals. I thanked God for this wonderful opportunity. It made me think of life in a different way. I realized that this job was about so much more than making some much-needed money. I saw that I could serve God by being helpful to others. I’d never thought of that before.

Throughout this time, I kept reading the weekly Bible Lesson found in the Christian Science Quarterly, and I went to church every Sunday. This fortified me with ideas and gave me spiritual strength to deal with everything that was going on with my family. In the Bible, I read the story of Ruth, who was loyal to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and truly loved God. She followed Naomi to a new land and was happy to support her—never worrying about herself. She was such a wonderful example for me, and I found old, self-centered ways of thinking falling away as I focused more on serving God and others rather than thinking about myself.

I realized that even if I didn’t understand how it would happen, God, divine Love, would meet my needs and my family’s needs. 

Eventually, I was able to purchase the clothes and other items I needed—even some small things that just made life a little nicer. And while my parents ultimately didn’t stay together, I did learn that they’d at least settled their differences for the time being and that my family had been provided for in unexpected ways.

This experience changed my life. Not only did I learn to trust Love’s care for both my family and me, but I also learned that what’s important in life isn’t what we have. What’s important is our love for God and the love we express to others. Long after our house was rebuilt, I still felt grateful for the spiritual rebuilding of character that came to me through this experience.

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