When you need help finding a home

In the region where I live, the cost of housing and the lack of resources to meet housing needs have increasingly led to substandard living conditions and homelessness for many people. These situations can feel overwhelming. Even before the recent disastrous weather conditions in California, which have made things worse, some in my community had been living on the margins financially. As I prayed about these needs, I was reminded of an experience I’d once had regarding home and supply. This experience led me to ask God for guidance, resulting in a practical solution.

Fresh out of college, I took a short-term job as an educator for an environmental program. Although my housing was provided during the week, I needed to find weekend housing for an extended period of time. My budget didn’t allow for hotels or similar solutions, but I was able to find a room for rent from a woman in a nearby town. The location was not ideal, but I was genuinely grateful for the safe and homey refuge. 

One weekend when I arrived home, I was distressed to find that the owner had permanently rented my room to another tenant. Suddenly, I was out on the street with few options. I was in tears when the homeowner took pity on me and said I could sleep in a spare bed for one weekend. While I was grateful for her offer, I knew I needed to pray about a more permanent solution. 

Suddenly, I was out on the street with few options.

I called a Christian Science practitioner for help. She shared a statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 254). I did feel like a pilgrim and stranger in the town and was comforted by this idea because the same book defines Kingdom of Heaven as, “the reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme” (p. 590). I knew that if that heavenly consciousness was my true home and the place where my thoughts could rest, I could never be deprived of a practical human expression of this in my life. The Apostle Paul described our true home in the following way, referring to God, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). 

It occurred to me that being the guest of God meant that I was a loved houseguest, and because my “host” was divine Love, my every need would be met in detail. It also meant that my home included such divine qualities as grace, order, harmony, and peace.

That evening, to find some quiet where I could listen for God’s direction in my prayers, I went for a hike. After climbing a grassy hillside, I rested, and prayed to feel God’s allness and presence. As dusk came, I returned to my car, where I discovered, to my dismay, that I had dropped my car keys somewhere. This felt like the last straw. I had no flashlight to help me search and no friends in the area to call, and cellphones hadn’t been invented yet.

Picking my way back up the trail, I searched the deep grass in the fast-fading light. After a fruitless search, I sat at the top of the hill, feeling abandoned. There was nothing to do but ask for Love’s help again. I reasoned more firmly from a spiritual standpoint that God’s loving ever-presence meant I could never be alone or without help. I refrained from further searching and just acknowledged that the all-knowing Mind, God, maintains perfect order and provides flawless direction. This also meant quieting my anxious thoughts about lack and displacement. As I mentally listened to Love’s outpouring of care-filled reassurance, I felt a growing warm conviction of God’s embrace. I refused to move until I felt peace and an assurance that divine law was operating right where I was. Although it was very dark by now, I got up and walked directly to where the keys were. To me, this did not feel miraculous, because I understood that God is always providing order and clear intuition, and that when prayer stills our thought, we hear the direction we need. I walked down to the car, rejoicing in this proof of God’s provision.

I reasoned more firmly from a spiritual standpoint that God’s loving ever-presence meant I could never be alone or without help.

The next day, I spent time in a nearby Christian Science Reading Room, still praying about my pressing need for weekend accommodation. On my way out, the Reading Room attendant and I had a lovely chat, and I discovered that the local branch Church of Christ, Scientist, owned a small house adjacent to their church building, where they provided child care during services. I’d been attending that church whenever possible, so the members knew me. After they learned of my situation, they offered to rent me the house on weekends if I would accommodate child care during services. 

The house came with a beautiful yard and far exceeded my former situation. I had included forgiveness of my former residence’s owner in my prayers, and when I went to share the good news with her, she rejoiced with me. That little cottage met my needs during the rest of the time I lived and worked in that region.

This experience serves as a reminder to me that when we turn to God in times of fear, lack, or uncertainty, we are provided with gentle, loving, insightful ideas that reveal practical solutions. Even when circumstances look and feel extreme, God’s love for us provides what we need—and so much more. I know this is true for every member of my community today, just as it proved true for me all those years ago.• 

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