A Home Reborn, Residents Blessed
We'd like to share a healing of a rundown apartment building that took many years to achieve.
In 1976 Steve's mother bought a flat in a seaside apartment block on the South Coast of England, which he later inherited.
Over a period of 30 years it suffered considerable neglect including severe leaks and damp apartments as a result of poor management and a quarrelling board of directors.
The building seemed to need as much spiritual as material restoration. So we both set to work to pray - to see that this 1937 Art Deco building reflected the harmony, grace, dignity and peace that the architect intended it to have.
As Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health, "Church is the structure of Truth and Love." We knew that our view of the building had to be raised to a higher spiritual level. We looked up the definition of "Zion" in Science and Health to discover that one of its meanings is a "spiritual foundation and superstructure" Seeing the building as spiritually substantial, we affirmed that it had to be undecayed, properly functioning and incapable of being neglected and poorly managed.
As few residents were willing to serve on the Board of Directors, both of us, at different times, agreed to do our bit and join the Board. Later, one of us was elected as Chairman, since no one else was willing to take it on. The meetings were tough and many questionable practices came to light!
We discovered that one director was taking unilateral decisions and skimming off funds. Another was pushing his own agenda so he could sell his flat and make a speedy exist from the building. You won't be surprised to know that during a 10 year period the building exhausted three managing agents!
The town was watching, well aware that this attractive building was falling into disrepair and might indeed, need to be demolished.
But we never stopped praying. We knew that because the building could only be the structure of truth and love, it radiated honesty, integrity and brotherly love and that these qualities could be experienced by all the residents. The building existed to bless everyone, and no dishonesty or incompetence could deny the residents that blessing.
After many anguished months involving heated meetings with solicitors and accountants, a glimmer of light appeared at the end of a long dark tunnel.
An hitherto reluctant resident finally agreed to stand for election to the Board. He turned out to be highly experienced in business matters, electrical engineering and property management. He tackled every problem the building was facing and not surprisingly, quickly became Chairman of the Board.
Step by step, residents calmed down or left for pastures new and a wonderful sense of peace and order descended on the building. Our new Chairman found an excellent managing agent and a proper budget and programme of works was established. The residents had never known such harmony.
The building has been re-rendered and with a new roof, gleams in the winter sun. But it's now as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. And that we ascribe to Christian Science.
We've learned that just like Church, our building is a spiritual structure and not the bricks-and-mortar it appears to be and that it can respond to dedicated prayer in Christian Science.
We've taken on a small coastal garden next to the building which the Council can't afford to maintain. With the help of some volunteer gardeners, it's now doing well. Passers-by actually stop and admire it.
We're also creating a beach garden on the adjoining shingle and will be putting in the plants this spring. It seems that our spiritual approach to the building is radiating out beyond the walls.
Buildings are a problem around the world; even churches are not without their challenges. As I hope we've shown, Christian Science has as much to offer in healing a building as it does in healing all the other problems life throws up.
We just have to look at the text on many of our church walls to read "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." And we've certainly proved this to be true.