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Of Good Report

Finding a home with God’s guidance

From the July 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Many years ago I was looking for a new home in a European capital. Within a week I found the perfect house, and the friend who would be sharing it with me was as happy with it as I was. 

I felt God’s hand in this unfoldment, since one of my favorite Bible texts, Psalm 23, is always close to my heart. The last verse promises, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” (verse 6). Whether I am traveling, enjoying a beautiful home, or moving into a new place, this verse has comforted and helped me so many times.

Early in the negotiations for the house, the thought came to me to ask the real estate agent to arrange a meeting with the current owners. I knew this wasn’t usually done, yet I felt divinely led to make the request. The agent was surprised at first, but since I insisted, he did so. 

The subsequent negotiations, which were handled exclusively by the agent, did not go well. We soon found out that the agent was trying to get us to agree on a price by providing false information. Once we discovered this, we informed him that we were not willing to continue the negotiations on the basis of dishonesty. He was furious, stopped talking to us, and started looking instead for other potential buyers.

I saw that I must stop fixing my thought on a particular house, even if it seemed ideal. 

I was sad, since I still felt that the house would be perfect for us. I just had no clue how to end the stalemate. Nothing happened for several months, but time and again friends who lived in the neighborhood mentioned that the property was still on the market.

During this period I prayed earnestly in hopes of finding a way to reopen the negotiations. One night it became clear to me that I needed to change my thinking about the situation. I saw that I must stop fixing my thought on a particular house, even if it seemed ideal. Instead, I began to delve deeper into the spiritual meaning of home.

I was particularly inspired by a passage in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God” (p. 254). The concept that I was a guest of God humbled me and turned my thinking in an entirely new direction. Knowing that divine Love meets every need, how could I doubt that God would provide me at all times with the perfect home? And who was I to tell God which home would be best? 

I now understood the importance of detaching myself completely from that specific property, so I would be receptive to what divine Love had prepared for us. With these thoughts I fell asleep, entirely free of worry and sadness.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt strongly that I should contact the sellers directly—and it was only then that I understood why I had been led to ask for a meeting with them earlier. I called them right away, and they were overjoyed to learn that we were still interested in the property, as they were feeling desperate about the failure to sell it. I wasn’t surprised to hear that the real estate agent had not informed them why contact between him and us had been broken off.

Knowing that divine Love meets every need, how could I doubt that God would provide me at all times with the perfect home?

Within a few days we came to an agreement (with a reduced fee for the real estate agent, given his conduct) and had an attorney prepare the sales contract. On the morning of the closing, the thought came to me to request a formal letter from the agent confirming that he would not claim the full sales commission. I immediately notified both the attorney and the sellers that I insisted on having such a letter prior to signing the sales contract, even though the agent’s commission was already specified in the contract. Again it turned out to be the right thing to do. Without this letter, the agent could have sued us for the full percentage he would otherwise have been entitled to.

I often remember this unfoldment regarding the purchase of our home with much gratitude. We spent more than ten happy years there and also had ample opportunity to host friends and family, as well as to provide at different times a temporary home for others.

Some years later, when I was offered a job in a new city, I again had to find a home for my family and me to move into. During the first months my employer provided me with a temporary place to stay that allowed me to get to know the town. Soon I felt drawn to a particular neighborhood, and I regularly walked the streets there to enjoy the environment and to see whether any home had been placed on the market. I even developed a preference for a certain street in this neighborhood. The only problem was that none of the homes were for sale during those months.

My initial joy increasingly gave way to feelings of sadness and desperation. I finally decided I’d better check out other neighborhoods, though I didn’t feel much enthusiasm for doing that. One evening after an unsuccessful search, it became very clear to me that I needed to change my thinking about the situation. 

Rather than focusing on my personal needs and wishes, I was overcome with gratitude for all those who lived in the area being provided with a beautiful home here, each one of which, I clearly felt, was God-given. I also reminded myself of the close association between home and heaven in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings. And with gratitude I affirmed that God had already prepared a beautiful home for me and would guide me to it. 

Sadness and desperation evaporated, and I felt a calm certainty that the perfect solution was at hand.

The next day I received a phone call from my employer, who told me that the owners of a house in my preferred neighborhood wanted to sell their home and had asked whether there might be anyone interested in purchasing the property. The house was not only located on the street I favored, but it was also the house I had admired most during my regular evening strolls. 

I was able to buy the house, the transaction went through smoothly, and it became the perfect home for my family. I am still in awe and deeply grateful for this evidence of God’s loving care for each of His children.

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