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Your right to companionship

From the September 11, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Are you lonely? Does it seem as if everyone has someone special but you? When faced with the challenge of loneliness, many believe that the solution lies in becoming more popular or attractive. They may seek a better body through diet, exercise, or even surgery. Still others seek the answer in a new wardrobe or hairstyle. But there’s a different path, one with the promise of a true, lasting solution. It’s an answer based on a better understanding of your relation to God.

The Apostle Paul said in the book of Romans, “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:38, 39). 

If anyone knew about circumstances that suggested separation from God, it was Paul. He was imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake. Yet he knew that his relation to God as His very own spiritual expression was intact, that he was continuously within His care. And Paul proved that oneness in his healing and teaching ministry.

In the face of loneliness, we too can learn that we can never be separated from God. God is Love, and each of us is the blessed child, or reflection, of Love. This means we can’t be cut off from divine Love’s provision for us of supply, right activity, and employment. It means we can’t be cut off from experiencing His protection from danger or sickness. And it most certainly means we can’t be cut off from proper companionship, camaraderie, loyal friendship, a sense of family. These good and natural aspects of our experience come into clearer focus in our lives when we mentally claim our eternal identity as God’s beloved offspring.

The divine Love that is rightfully ours does not come in measured doses, only at certain times, or to some but not to others. We can’t “miss our chance.” Love is abundantly and universally bestowed, embracing everyone. The Bible promises, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). 

God is perpetually shining His pure love in each one of us all the time, and that can never change. No one can have more or less of God’s love than anyone else, and no one can be deprived of their rightful provision. For example, in Psalms, the Bible assures, “God setteth the solitary in families” (68:6). These beautiful Bible promises have given hope and comfort to men and women just like you and me for centuries, and they have the same power of transformation and healing as when they were written.

In overcoming loneliness, it may well be that one needs to expand his thought beyond a limited concept of love. How easy it is to humanly decide that love must come to us in a certain way, or to narrowly define happiness as dependent upon being “in” with a particular group of people. Or to stubbornly cling to our romantic checklist for Mr. Right, or our plan to meet Miss Right at this place or at that point in time. A greater trust in God allows His all-inclusive plan to unfold in our experience.

We can be confident that God’s plan surely includes a tangible manifestation of love in our experience.

The Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 1). The desire for right companionship must be a pure one, one that seeks to glorify God, as opposed to fulfilling our own personal outline. The longing to share experiences, build relationships, grow a family, work together for a common goal, is natural. As we pray to our Father-Mother God with a more expansive love and a humility that His will be done, we can be confident that His plan surely includes a tangible manifestation of love in our experience.

While seeking a greater sense of love in our lives, we can start by expressing loving qualities more universally every day. As divine Love’s cherished reflection, this expression is natural to us—and satisfying. Being cheerful, joyous, helpful, humorous, humble, tender, honest, and forgiving is naturally attractive, too. These qualities have a spiritual origin, and others who love and value them will inherently want to commune and unite with those expressing them.

As we strive to express divine Love more fully, we become a better friend, teammate, and coworker. Social interaction becomes less labored. We find freedom from the pressure to “find someone.” If loneliness tries to seep back into consciousness and undermine our confidence in God’s goodness, we can refuse to yield the ground gained in understanding our inseparability from God as His spiritual likeness.

Years ago I was on my own in a large city. While I had friends to play sports and hang out with, I felt a desire for a deeper relationship with a companion, perhaps leading to building a family. 

As I prayed, it became clear that I needed to live those qualities that I wished to companion with. I needed to keep my thought open to every opportunity for good that God provides, and trust Him, rather than outline my human plan. Over the next few months I reconnected with a friend who was also ready for a spiritually-founded relationship, and that has resulted in a long harmonious marriage and family.

The human result of a clearer sense of God’s love for us may indeed result in a relationship that leads to marriage. It may find us with an enjoyable new group of friends or coworkers. Or it may result in new opportunities for us to share our talents through teaching, coaching, or some other rewarding activity. In whatever form in which God’s plan unfolds in our lives, we can be certain that it will be completely satisfying, that what we truly need will be supplied. 

Mrs. Eddy had a clear sense that man can never be deprived of God’s love. She wrote, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Science and Health, p. 494). What a great promise!

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