“My best, my ever Friend”

God will forever remain constant.

Although you may sometimes feel lonely, you are never truly alone. I speak from experience. Read on!

Mary Baker Eddy wrote a book for spiritual thinkers called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and it includes this insight that recently made me think back to a difficult time years ago: “Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love” (p. 266).

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Shortly after my husband and I moved to a new state, we separated. This left me alone with two children. I was lonely and in need of love and friends.

Soon, television soap operas became my “family” and “friends.” I planned my days around soap operas so I would be home to see each episode. I was spending four hours every weekday watching soap operas and rationalizing it as time visiting my family and friends. But I was relying on fictional characters to entertain me and help me feel less lonely.

I began to feel that each synonym for God was a special friend.

I had been raised in a Christian Science family and had attended a Christian Science Sunday School. I remembered seeing the words “God is Love” on the wall of the Christian Science branch churches I’d been in. I began to ask myself, “Would God, divine Love, leave my children and me stranded without companionship? No!”

One day as I opened the Christian Science Hymnal, my eyes fell on these words:

O Lord, I would delight in Thee,
       And on Thy care depend;
To Thee in every trouble flee,
       My best, my ever Friend.
           (John Ryland, No. 224)

God is “my best, my ever Friend,” I thought, and who could ask for a better friend? The Hymnal became a comforting companion. I found references to Love in almost every hymn I read, and I appreciated each mention of friendship and of God as our friend. For instance, I read, “Loving hearts in friendship blend, / One in Him, our heavenly Friend” (Nikolaj F.S. Grundtvig, trans., No. 178), and “So we find the true atonement, / Know in God the perfect Friend” (J.O. Wallin, trans., No. 263).

I thought of seven names for God emphasized in Science and Health: “Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love” (p. 465). As I considered these synonyms for our one and only God, I began to feel that each synonym was a special friend, and I started searching for references to each one in Christ Jesus’ teachings and Mrs. Eddy’s writings. The more I discovered about God and these synonyms, the more I felt I wasn’t missing friends or family. 

For example, as I considered the synonym Soul more deeply, I got a greater sense of Soul expressed as beauty, especially in things such as art and music. It wasn’t long before God, Soul, led my children and me to wonderful opportunities for artistic expression, which usually included interactions with others. I have found that thinking of God as Principle helps to keep my day in order, while thinking of God as Life keeps me active. In the Bible, Jesus promises us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Knowing God as Truth helps to free me from loneliness and other beliefs that aren’t true. And Science and Health says, “Mortal mind is the worst foe of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend” (p. 176). Understanding God as Mind maintains my health and peace.

I gave up the soap operas’ fictional characters for a spiritual and substantial view of friends and family. 

Certainly each of us would apply the synonyms differently in our own lives and to our own needs. But God will lead each of us in the right direction, just as He led me in ways that have brought many blessings to my children and me.  

I was also comforted by Jesus’ words about friends: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. . . . I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, . . . that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:14–16). Jesus’ words are for all who follow his teachings, so I felt included and worthy of being called his friend. Christ—the truth of God speaking to our consciousness—is our constant friend.  

Jesus also gave us the Lord’s Prayer, which begins, “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9), and the spiritual interpretation of this given in Science and Health is “Our Father-Mother God” (p. 16). Science and Health explains, “Man is the family name for all ideas,—the sons and daughters of God” (p. 515). From these statements I reasoned that we are all sons and daughters of one Father-Mother God; we are one big, happy family.

That “seeming vacuum” (from the quote near the beginning of this article) really was “already filled with divine Love.” I gave up the soap operas’ fictional characters for a spiritual and substantial view of friends and family. I became more active, and I started helping my neighbors in various ways. I became wiser in my decisions and understood better what I was looking for in a friend. I strove to see beauty in everyone I met. I was happier, and my children were happier. I was not a bit lonely.

Over time, friends came and went in my life. But more and more I found friends who helped to support my spiritual growth, and they have remained true friends. Most importantly, God, “my best, my ever Friend,” whom I find through those synonyms and others, doesn’t ever change or move away. 

Turning to God lifts us out of loneliness as it lifts our thinking out of darkness and despair to behold the ever-shining light of divine Love that is all around us. God keeps us safe, comforted, and companioned. God will forever remain constant, not just in my life but in yours and everyone’s.

Image and Inspiration
March 27, 2023

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