Discovering Friendship

[Written Especially for Young People]

In our present experience, friendship seems variable and uncertain to many of us. A few individuals appear blessed with many friends, either because of their wealth, beauty, or special talents. But as we look a little deeper, we find in these varying attractions no enduring foundation for friendship. Material wealth may disappear, physical beauty fade, and personal talents become unsatisfying. Then what of friendship? Shall we leave it in a state of disillusion? Christian Science comes to our troubled thought with a vigorous "No," for God is Love, and friendship is a divine idea, which each one can demonstrate in his individual experience.

The revelation of Christian Science instructs us anew in our search for friendship, and the command to begin with God is eternally the same, whether the goal be that of happiness, health, employment, or any other right idea. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says (p. 13): "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals." The student may then ask what makes the gulf between popularity and unpopularity so wide. The psychology of the human mind which is taught and broadcast in schools and literature today tries to explain means and methods of attaining this highly desirable state called popularity. But in the light of Christian Science we learn that popularity is not true friendship. Often it is constituted of self-seeking, materiality, personality, and human will. Friendship in its highest sense is wholly spiritual. It is the expression of the Love that is God, and hence "impartial and universal." Man as God's expression radiates friendship. Good comes to us from God, not from personality; hence, we often find friendship in most unexpected places.

A young student of Christian Science found herself faced with the problem of going a long distance from home to boarding school, where she knew no one. At first she made a few futile efforts to secure the daughter of family friends as her roommate, but as this failed her she turned her thought to God, as she had been taught to do from childhood. She knew that in the place where she must go there would be those who needed what she had to give, as surely as there would be those who had to give what she needed. We learn in Christian Science that "there is but one real attraction, that of Spirit" (ibid., p. 102). Therefore, the young girl knew she was not dependent upon any personal charm or riches in making her way in this new environment, but only upon God's ever present, ever-available divine government. She knew that friendship was a right idea, and that it would be found wherever God, good, is expressed. Knowing that God is everywhere, she realized that it was unnecessary, and in fact impossible, to outline who would be His messengers. As a result of this prayerful effort to purify her concept of friendship, a very happy location in the school was found from which a lasting friendship developed. This friendship brought much that was never anticipated. A loving family made this young person so far from her home seem one of their own family, and gave her a second home in the distant land during many years.

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The Tide of Love
November 21, 1936

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