It is possible to be surrounded by people and yet to feel alone. We feel cut off from others because our points of view are different. Perhaps we are younger or older, have more or less education, a different background, a different culture. Perhaps we are striving to uphold a moral or spiritual attitude in a materialistic environment.
Once, when feeling particularly alienated from everyone involved in a situation, thinking that my genuinely selfless motives were being misunderstood, I climbed a hill overlooking a large city. From my quiet vantage point in the early morning hours, I could see the entire city spread before me. It was filled with cars and people - and this made me feel all the more isolated.
Yet the thought that God, the heavenly Father, is always with me comforted me. Christ Jesus said, ''Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.''n1
n1 John 16:32.
I knew I could never really be alone. God is Love. Love cherishes us and reassures us with inspiration and tangible answers to our prayers. As I became aware of the gentle presence of God, I felt more at peace.
But feeling loved by God was only a beginning. I deeply desired to feel loved not only by God but by my fellowman.
As I continued to think about Jesus' assurance ''Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me,'' I realized that since God was with me, leading and loving me, He must be leading and loving all His children. Each one of us, then, can turn to God as his Father. No one is excluded from God's loving care and guidance.
I stopped fretting about the differences in human personalities. Instead a common link among all people became evident. I saw that in truth man's being is spiritual; that every single one of us is created by God, has God as his heavenly Father, and has an inheritance of Godlike qualities, such as love, joy, peace.
This more spiritual view of God and man freed me from selfishly seeing only myself as God's child and mentally, if not physically, excluding others.
Then I realized that as each of God's children is inseparable from the Father , we must all be in harmony with one another. Although there was little if any human bond, trust, or appreciation, it seemed natural to feel a more spiritual bond. We shared a common divine origin. I suddenly felt included in the family of God's beloved and loving children, all under His wise control. The sense of isolation vanished. I was filled with a love for the Father-Mother, God, and for all that God has made.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and the author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, describes the spiritual relationship between God and man very simply: ''The great I am made all 'that was made.' Hence man and the spiritual universe coexist with God.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, p. 267.
With this wonderful sense of man's unity with God, I was freed from seeking support and companionship in human personalities, good or bad. To be alone, in a spiritual sense, is to be separated from the limited concept of man, and free to companion with God's loving and loved family.
This spiritual inspiration resulted in an enlarged view of companionship. Moreover, delightful new friends began to appear, and, inevitably, the original misunderstandings were resolved.
To be alone in a spiritual sense, to feel our unity with God through prayer, is not to feel isolated; rather, it's to discern, and thereby experience, the riches of His goodness. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is my shepherd; i shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me besdie the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalms 23:1-3, 6