Thursday, November 8, 2007

Japhet - and an enlarged sense of home

An article from this month's Journal gave me much food for thought today. I especially liked it because it focused on a Bible character I knew little about. Japhet is one of Noah's two elder sons. He was with him in the Ark and later, with his brother, covered their father's nakedness out of respect and love as he lay asleep. As a result, Japhet recieved a special blessing - the promise of an enlarged dwelling place. Mrs. Eddy included Japeth in her glossary and defines him as a type of spiritual peace, flowing from the understanding that God is the divine Principle of all existence, and man is His idea, the child of His care.

The writer of the article worked with this definition at a time when he needed to enlarge his concept of home, having an urgent need to find a new place. He had made this kind of demonstration in the past and was confident he could again but weeks passed and he was becoming discouraged. Our family moved often when the kids were small and we always found just the right place to meet our needs. I credit my study of Christian Science with making those many moves (24 in 33 years) smooth and harmonious. God's provision for us was unfailing and it may have helped the kids when they later went to Principia for high school. They knew how to fit in with new friends in a new place. A sense of home has always been important to me and I work on my spiritual concept of what qualities it should include.

The need was met for the author in an unexpected way when a small furnished flat became available. He had restricted his search to unfurnished places but the prospective landlord like him so much that he agreed to store the furniture.

I've studied many aspects of the story of Noah and the ark, but never really thought about what it must have been like to settle in a new place and set up a new home. I look forward to the holidays in this new home and have enjoyed setting out my holiday decorations for all to enjoy. In this last move I actually have an enlarged bedroom/office, an enlarged bathroom (all to myself!), and an enlarged closet/storage area. God is good. There is even an enlarged yard, although it presents challenges of its own. Houses are being completed and slowly neighbors are moving it. It feels very much like home already.

I have no idea at this point what further moves lie ahead for me, or where that might lead, but as I continue to cherish a right idea of home and all it contains I know there are no backward steps and Love will keep me dwelling in the house of Lord. Like Japhet, we are promised the blessing of an enlarged place. And that can apply to relationships, family, career, finances, and church as well.

Go in peace, child of His care.

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