In urban areas, one of the most precious things—and often one of the rarest—is housing. Many people living in urban areas around the world don’t have access to safe housing. Overpriced housing is a factor, which can contribute to homelessness. Rapidly growing cities such as Mexico City, Tokyo, Johannesburg, and Shanghai have scarcely an empty nook, and in cities such as London, Berlin, and San Francisco, prices for housing have soared in the last decade.
There is no way to gloss over these issues. They take tremendous compassion, collective effort, and a real commitment to improving living conditions for everyone on our beautiful planet. But there is one answer already here that is affordable, accessible, and authentic right now, and this answer is that there is always an answer—a way.
This might sound presumptuous, but it isn’t. We can become intimately acquainted with the Principle of life immortal, which is God. In doing so, we can authoritatively deal with the claims of a mortal sense of life and their tendency to materialize everything from A to Z.
It is a fact that there is a divine Mind, God, and this Mind is the consciousness and Life of the universe, including man. This Mind is not remote or distant from any of us; it is present, benign, and includes all the knowledge, wisdom, ideas, solutions, understanding, and comprehension that Mind’s creation reflects.
This Mind is infinitely expressing itself as I write this. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy reveals the following to humanity: “Infinite Mind creates and governs all, from the mental molecule to infinity. This divine Principle of all expresses Science and art throughout His creation, and the immortality of man and the universe. Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source. Mortal sense inverts this appearing and calls ideas material” (p. 507).
There is a tendency in human thought to resist change, though, even to resist progressive ideas proceeding from the divine Mind. Galileo once spoke of resistance to change as an unwillingness to look through his telescope. It was in a letter he sent to Johannes Kepler in 1610, in which he describes some individuals involved in judging his findings—for example, that the planet Jupiter has massive satellites (moons), and that our moon has mountains and valleys like planet Earth. In the letter, Galileo expresses his utter puzzlement about those who refused to look through his telescope, that is, to take a closer look themselves. In 1609 Galileo had built an improved telescope as part of his ongoing yearning to understand the cosmos. Apart from the historical impact of Galileo’s and Kepler’s findings, there is a spiritual message for us today: Are we willing to look through the mental telescope with a heartfelt, perhaps childlike, spiritual wonder about a bigger world—actually, an entire cosmos?
It makes a tremendous difference when human thought is ready to accept the grander view and to be influenced solely by divine Love. There is a way.
A few years ago, my husband and I were trying to find the right buyers for our condominium, while also looking for a new one. We were doing so in Berlin, a city with a vibrant culture which, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, has become one of the world’s best cities for start-up companies. We felt absolutely clear that the buyers should be the right fit for the great group of neighboring residents, mostly young families, we were about to leave. Many buyers approached us offering the right sum, but we felt that our condominium should be given to a family with small children. As the weeks went by and neither the right buyers appeared nor any condominium even remotely suitable to our needs appeared on the horizon, we contacted a Christian Science practitioner to pray with us. And that is when the solution began to unfold.
This experience taught me to include the whole human family in my prayers for the meeting of every challenge.
We were encouraged to look away from our limited situation and to look at the concept of home in the Bible. One story we found especially inspiring was that of the woman of Shunem. In this story, a spiritually minded woman prepares a place for the prophet Elisha, who occasionally comes through her village. She tells her husband, “I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither” (II Kings 4:9, 10).
This story illustrates both divine perception and spiritual illumination. My husband and I certainly felt encouraged, in a twofold way. First, we understood that it is of paramount importance to provide spiritual light and let it shine. What this meant for us was to truly let the light of divine Love shine brightly in our consciousness. There is something wonderfully meek and gentle about holding up a mental light. It is a sign and an offer of the attraction of good, providing the visibility of good in a specific way. The candlestick was meant to provide light for the prophet, and we were looking forward to letting our spiritual understanding shine so clearly that what we had to offer would become apparent.
Second, we perceived the need to spiritually watch for the light ourselves. We made a conscientious effort not to overlook any spiritual idea, any inspiration that God was sending our way. Spiritual understanding is this light on the candlestick. I actively included in my prayer everyone without a home, refugees, poor and lost people on the go, addressing homelessness as an imposition on humanity that Love’s embrace rectifies. No one is left out.
In Isaiah we read: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee” (60:1–4).
What we perceived was the double action of Love: There is the light marking home, and there is the capacity to perceive this light guiding anyone to a home. Spiritual sense is our inherent ability to understand Spirit—to feel and know the will of divine Love. It marks the attraction of Love and makes Love visible.
Our house found a wonderful family after our commitment to Love’s design became honest and sincere. Interestingly enough, the couple was deeply engaged in the field of human rights, and they were bringing grandparents to live with them too.
Shortly before we were to sign the contract, though, I was shaken briefly with the sadness of leaving our family home of many years. But a comment by my husband broke through my tears: “We are not leaving home, dear; we are just selling a house.” The light of divine Love is shining without interruption, and it wiped away my doubts once and for all. I never again felt that I could ever leave or lose home.
With one part of the equation in place, we still had no new condominium for us. My husband and I retreated to the seaside to be really quiet, to listen, and to pray. After the third day, my husband closed his Bible with vigor and declared an end to searching as opposed to finding. We packed up our things, got into our car, and drove back to the city.
We had not even been on the highway for an hour when my phone rang. A real estate agent informed us about a new offer that had just come to her attention, and we went immediately to see a wonderful pre-World War I residential building in a historic area of our town. Despite the need for substantial renovation and repair, we could see a place for us there, and immediately agreed to buy it. Later we learned that this home had been filled with classical music concerts for decades, something we deeply cherished. This apartment has proven to be a place of healing, peacemaking, supplying needs, and expressing kindness, and we are continually finding new uses for the space that bring comfort and joy to us and others.
This experience taught me several things, among them to include the whole human family in my prayers for the meeting of every challenge. Every demonstration of divine law is a demonstration for everyone, because it demonstrates the universal divine Principle of being. It taught me also the humility to look beyond the sense of limitation to a larger view, and to deal up front with doubt, mental laziness, negativity, and fear. This experience increased my confidence and ability to demonstrate the laws of divine Science.
Now in other areas, too, I find placing a mental candlestick (announcing the demand) and at the same time looking out for the answer (the supply) is a powerful tool. It is not theoretical, but it is the result of sincere, persistent prayer and listening. God’s love is providing the inspiration for both—how to announce the demand and how to respond and find an offer.
So, is there a home for everyone? Yes, there is a place for everyone, regardless of human circumstances, and there is practical guidance for each next step. Christ Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago: “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:4–6, New Living Translation).
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