Alone, But Not Lonely
There is a craving in the human heart for friendship—someone to share with, someone to companion with. This is a natural human desire. In her Miscellaneous Writings Mrs. Eddy says, "Pure humanity, friendship, home, the interchange of love, bring to earth a foretaste of heaven." Mis., p. 100: If one has lost a dear companion and the future appears bleak without this loved one, or if one seems to lack friends, Christian Science shows there is something one can do to fill this void.
Basically the sense of aloneness arises from the mistaken belief that man is a mortal, born into matter and separated from God, divine Love; whereas the fact is that man is immortal, never born, never dying. He is the child of his Father-Mother God, infinite Life, who is tenderly caring for him.
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God, divine Mind, knows and loves each of His children. No one is excluded. Because man is Mind's self-expression he can never be separated from God. The idea cannot be cut off from the Mind that expresses it. Because God is All and all-inclusive, man is never friendless and alone. "With one Father, even God," writes Mrs. Eddy, "the whole family of man would be brethren." Science and Health, pp. 469, 470;
Since we have one Father, divine Love, who embraces us all in His love, all are united in love. There is no antagonism among God's ideas. We have something to do, however—we must use this love, live it, and be it. As we acknowledge God's love for us and in turn express this love to others, we will feel our unity with our Father-Mother, and as a result, will also feel our oneness and unity with all of God's children. In the degree that we express the Love which is God, the feeling of aloneness will vanish as surely as darkness disappears in the presence of light.
As our understanding of our unity with God grows, we look less to people and more to God as our best friend, a friend we can always depend on and turn to. Moses had this sense of closeness with God. "The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Ex. 33:11; Abraham, too, "was called the Friend of God." James 2:23;
Christ Jesus understood this divine unity clearly. He said, "I am not alone, because the Father is with me." John 16:32; He demonstrated for us man's indissoluble unity with God—that man is the son of God, reflecting His power and perfection.
As we learn to recognize God as our friend and Father, we learn to turn to Him with confidence, trusting Him to show us the way out of our problems. The best of human friends is not capable of giving advice that can be completely relied upon. But we can talk with God as our friend and find deep comfort in doing this. Answers will come, sometimes a quotation from the Bible or from Mrs. Eddy's writings. Divine Mind always imparts the inspiration we need to see our way. As a hymn says:
O Lord, I would delight in Thee,
And on Thy care depend;
To Thee in every trouble flee,
My best, my ever Friend. Christian Science Hymnal, No. 225;
This friend, who is infinite divine Love, will never fail us.
At a time when I was left alone, and was turning to God each day for guidance in working out many problems, someone who needed a home asked to come and live with me. The arrangement proved harmonious for as long as it was needed. I saw that Love had supplied the need for friendly companionship, and I was convinced it would continue to do so whenever there was need for it. And so it proved. When the arrangement terminated, I had gained enough understanding of man's completeness as God's reflection to be able to live alone without loneliness, and this progress has continued.
Sometimes the reason we are alone is because we have been companioning with self-centered, critical, resentful thinking. This sort of thinking isolates us from others, and our experience gets narrower and narrower. But when our thoughts are filled with love, our thought and experience expand and we become friendlier, more responsive, more active in the world. As this love continues to grow, we find ourselves reaching out impartially in goodwill that embraces the whole world.
How do we learn to companion with God, with Love? When we express love, we are companioning with Love. There is such need in the world for love that there is always a demand for it, and "like attracts like." You will never feel alone again as you become more loving, and you will not lack right companionship.
Some people are afraid of being alone. But periods of aloneness with God are necessary to our growth Spiritward. "The Christian Scientist is alone with his own being and with the reality of things," Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 20. Mrs. Eddy says. Such periods of close communion with God enable us to feel our oneness with divine Love.
Who hasn't sometimes felt lonely even though surrounded by people? People, of themselves, do not satisfy loneliness. But one never really feels alone when he is close to God in thought. This satisfaction comes within one's own consciousness as he gains a sense of completeness as God's reflection.
Man does not lack any good. He is at one with the source of infinite good. As we grow in our understanding of our oneness with divine Love and experience the resulting feeling of completeness, we have an increasing sense of Love's ever-presence and control. Trust in the Father's tender care develops, and compatible companionships unfold and grow in loveliness, bringing "to earth a foretaste of heaven."