I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.
1. Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. ²Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself. ³And thus you are unknown to you. ⁴What is your Self remains an alien to the part of you which thinks that it is real, but different from yourself. ⁵Who could be sane in such a circumstance? ⁶Who but a madman could believe he is what he is not, and judge against himself?
We are Love, but in our desire to have a different experience, we have come to think that we are fear instead. In so doing, we have forgotten who we are. The following is a story my mind thought of to help me see this more clearly.
I was born to a wealthy and loving family. My parents doted on me and provided me with the best education and all I could ask for. My siblings and I were close and loved each other very much.
Then one day, I wandered from home, curious about what it was like outside this safe and lovely environment. In my curiosity, I lost my way and couldn’t get home again. After a while of being in this harsh and unloving place, I lost even my identity. I had a vague notion that there was something I should be remembering but my attention was focused on trying to survive in this hostile environment and the longer I stayed the vaguer that memory became. My true home remains but I keep moving deeper and deeper into the other world trying to find safety and comfort and losing more of myself with every step.
2. There is a stranger in our midst, who comes from an idea so foreign to the truth he speaks a different language, looks upon a world truth does not know, and understands what truth regards as senseless. ²Stranger yet, he does not recognize to whom he comes, and yet maintains his home belongs to him, while he is alien now who is at home. ³And yet, how easy it would be to say, “This is my home. ⁴Here I belong, and will not leave because a madman says I must.”
3. What reason is there for not saying this? ²What could the reason be except that you had asked this stranger in to take your place, and let you be a stranger to yourself? ³No one would let himself be dispossessed so needlessly, unless he thought there were another home more suited to his tastes.
Plot twist! One day, I read something that triggers a memory and I start to doubt myself. It is like I am coming out of a deep sleep. Could it be that I am dreaming of a life different from my own? But how could that be true? No, this is my lot and the memory of love and safety is the dream. This place is my home and I must defend it against attack that seems to come from all sides, even from those who are supposed to love me. I don’t have time to consider this crazy voice that calls to me about happiness and peace. This place is scary but I must conquer it.
4. Who is the stranger? ²Is it fear or you who are unsuited to the home which God provided for His Son? ³Is fear His Own, created in His likeness? ⁴Is it fear that love completes, and is completed by? ⁵There is no home can shelter love and fear. ⁶They cannot coexist. ⁷If you are real, then fear must be illusion. ⁸And if fear is real, then you do not exist at all.
The voice won’t stop. I feel confused. Who am I? This voice talks about another home, another me. It seems to be saying that I am not who I think I am. It is like I am being told I do not exist.
5. How simply, then, the question is resolved. ²Who fears has but denied himself and said, “I am the stranger here. ³And so I leave my home to one more like me than myself, and give him all I thought belonged to me.” ⁴Now is he exiled of necessity, not knowing who he is, uncertain of all things but this; that he is not himself, and that his home has been denied to him.
How could I be anything other than what I know of myself. My only clear memory is of this little self I seem to be. How could there be another home, another self that the voice speaks of? I have done so many things, suffered so much. This home of love and comfort sounds unreal. I am confused and know not what to do other than to keep defending the little I have. It is like there are two of me in my head.
6. What does he search for now? ²What can he find? ³A stranger to himself can find no home wherever he may look, for he has made return impossible. ⁴His way is lost, except a miracle will search him out and show him that he is no stranger now. ⁵The miracle will come. ⁶For in his home his Self remains. ⁷It asked no stranger in, and took no alien thought to be Itself. ⁸And It will call Its Own unto Itself in recognition of what is Its Own.
But that voice, that voice! It calls gently but persistently and it seems as I listen to it, to become stronger and louder. It tells me I am Its Own and that I have never really left It. It tells me that I am safe and always have been. It tells me that I have not left my Self and have not left my loving Parents at all. Who’s crazy now, I wonder?
7. Who is the stranger? ²Is he not the one your Self calls not? ³You are unable now to recognize this stranger in your midst, for you have given him your rightful place. ⁴Yet is your Self as certain of Its Own as God is of His Son. ⁵He cannot be confused about creation. ⁶He is sure of what belongs to Him. ⁷No stranger can be interposed between His knowledge and His Son’s reality. ⁸He does not know of strangers. ⁹He is certain of His Son.
8. God’s certainty suffices. ²Whom He knows to be His Son belongs where He has set His Son forever. ³He has answered you who ask, “Who is the stranger?” ⁴Hear His Voice assure you, quietly and sure, that you are not a stranger to your Father, nor is your Creator stranger made to you. ⁵Whom God has joined remain forever one, at home in Him, no stranger to Himself.
The Voice feels authoritative now, it feels more real than the many other voices I hear. As it speaks to me of my true Home, I feel a pull toward it. Maybe I can travel back the way I came. Maybe I can take my place in that safe and loving home that the Voice says is mine. Could this be true? I don’t know why I am drawn to this Voice, but I know I must listen and I must trust it in spite of all the apparent proof that my present circumstances are all there is in the world.
9. Today we offer thanks that Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him. ²His vision sees no strangers, but beholds His Own and joyously unites with them. ³They see Him as a stranger, for they do not recognize themselves. ⁴Yet as they give Him welcome, they remember. ⁵And He leads them gently home again, where they belong.
It has been some time now, years it seems, but I have been led back to sanity. Yes, as it turns out, I was insane. I dreamed that I gave my rightful home to a stranger and then forgot who I was, thinking I was the stranger and she was the child of my Parent. The “me” I thought I was never existed. Wow! It makes sense though, and now that I have awakened from this long dream, I see how foolish it was that I thought this was real. How could my Father, Who is Love Itself, have created the fearful creature I thought was me? What a dream! I am eternally grateful that I was not left in the dream.
10. Not one does Christ forget. ²Not one He fails to give you to remember, that your home may be complete and perfect as it was established. ³He has not forgotten you. ⁴But you will not remember Him until you look on all as He does. ⁵Who denies his brother is denying Him, and thus refusing to accept the gift of sight by which his Self is clearly recognized, his home remembered and salvation come.
As it turns out, my journey Home was no journey at all. One who is asleep goes nowhere. The journey was a journey through my mind that allowed me to look at my dream thoughts and let them fall gently away so that I could see the truth of things. Now that I remember Who I Am and What I am, I will join the Christ team and search the world for all my dear siblings who are lost in their thoughts. No one will be left alone and afraid in their dreams. All will awaken and rejoice to be Home just as I have done so. We will save them all.