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There goes the neighborhood

From the August 2003 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Recently, a wealthy family bought the house across the street from us for their nineteen-year-old son. It seems the son was causing problems at home and needed a different place to live. His parents apparently thought this was the perfect solution. Nice neighborhood, close to home (but not too close), affordable. Unfortunately, their solution became our neighborhood's problem. From the day this boy moved in, our peaceful corner of the world changed. Cars lined the streets day and night during what seemed to be a continuous party. Instead of the calm and tranquility we had enjoyed, we now faced drinking, loud music, and traffic until late into the night.

Several neighbors spoke to the young man, and he responded politely. But nothing changed. At first, I was frustrated and angry. As weeks passed, though, with no apparent solution in sight I realized I needed to look to God for an answer. I've resolved all kinds of problems through prayer. So why should this be any different?

I began by endeavoring to see this young man as a child of God who was loved and guided by God just like I was. I thought about parenting, which was something that seemed to be missing from this boy's life, and remembered this statement form Science and Health: "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation." Science and Health, p. 332. Knowing that everyone is part of this spiritual creation, I reasoned that, while this young man's relationship to his parents might be strained, his relationship to God had to be intact. He could get all the guidance he needed from his divine Father-Mother. It had always comforted me to know that my own children were in direct communication with their Father-Mother and could be led by Him without my interference. So I believed this had to be true for my neighbor as well.

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