A REUNION WORTH
ATTENDING ANY TIME
By: Ginny Luedeman
Sept. 12, 2005
I wonder how many people really think reunions are a
great idea. When an invitation came from one of my former high
schools, my first thought was to go on a diet.
Later, when my husband asked if I was going to go, I told him I didn’t think so, because there were many different schools I attended, and I didn’t graduate from any of them. I attended night school and graduated later. After thinking about it, I commented that I’d rather attend the reunion at Bellevue High, one school that hadn’t sent an invitation. I’d had more friends there, but my attendance had been so sporadic that they probably hadn’t thought of inviting me--I had lived in that school district off and on for parts of fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, and tenth grades, with many moves in between. Because Mom had some good friends in Bellevue, we often moved back there.
At that time, Dad had been chasing dreams and dragging my brother, sister, mom, and me with him. He never found the illusive “pot of gold” that he was looking for--due in large part to his drinking problem and his belief that the gold was to be found outside of himself.
Eventually my parents’ marriage ended in divorce. By that time, I was almost 16 and not feeling I had any place to call home. When I eventually did find my home, it was different from anything I’d imagined I needed. It happened as I started reading the book Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy. In it I found the sweet assurance of a place that never changed, where I was continuously at home and loved--a place of spiritual understanding that I never left and that never left me, a home where love remained intact and was never lost.
One of the ideas in Science and Health that got me thinking was that “home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections” (p. 58). When I first read those words, I thought they referred to a household, and. Looking at my circumstances, I felt a sense of loss. But this, I slowly began to realize, was a limited concept of home. As I’ve studied Christian Science, it’s become clearer to me that my home isn’t just a physical hub of activity, but a mental place--a place where I find my relationship to God and , because of that, peace.
In this spiritual sense of home, the “dearest spot on earth” has no material boundaries of time, diminishing good, or loss. Thinking of God as the source and sum of all good, as filling all space, it’s logical that all good is always present everywhere. The qualities of God are always perfect, and we express them forever. So even if we move from “here” to “there,” nothing can ever remove us from the presence of God’s goodness.
As my spiritual understanding progressed, I was better able to see what God is and what my place was in God’s creation. With my eyes, I might see limited, dying, and uncertain circumstances of life. But I realized that these merely human views involved thoughts that had no reality and no power to touch me or any of Spirit’s creation. The mistakes I, or my dad, had made couldn’t alter the truth of my spiritual identity any more than the mistakes of a frustrated first grader in a math class could affect the principles of addition and subtraction.
Science and Health says, “Human thought never projected the least portion of true being” (p. 126). From that I concluded that nothing can remove or change the goodness that the Creator is projecting. Spiritual reality is intact an forever discernible, right in the middle of a heartbreaking human need. God’s creation, as the very expression of God Himself, is here now, to be discerned, loved and experienced. Seeing this reality transforms thought --and it heals. Christian Science did that for me. It woke me up and revealed my spiritual home. And once I found that, everything else in my life began to fall into place.
Awakening to spiritual reality gives us a better, more lasting sense of love. We become a better friend, or mother, or father. And when we unite with other people in love, we’re in tune to their spiritual natures. It isn’t the skin tone, the color of the eyes, or even the human personality that touches our heart, but the beautiful spiritual qualities expressed. Honesty, kindness, purity, tenderness, joy and originality, for example, are what deeply satisfy and unite us. They’re what make us smile, and what move us to love. They’re reality expressed, individually.
This spiritual sense of others, of home, or of our world, can’t be moved from us, nor can we move from it when we truly see what our identity is. I now rejoice that I always had a place where I belonged, even when the scenery constantly changed. I never moved from God’s love, where my true home would always be found.
We can each put aside the history of loss and the feeling of not belonging, by coming to appreciate God’s creation, where we have a firm place and where good is never lost. Here we find a fuller brotherhood and sisterhood, our home and our family. Here reunions are a joyous recognition that the goodness of God is for everyone, everywhere, and always.
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