Which Father?

WHEN I heard that one of my high-school students had had four fathers because of her mother's several marriages, a number of questions came to thought. Without a solid, stable home, could she go ahead to meet the world with confidence? Could she go with a feeling of security? Then I remembered what Christian Science had taught me about my own childhood and the healing and regeneration it had brought into my life, and I knew it could help here. I did not have my own father while growing up, and I often felt lonely. Whenever friends mentioned their fathers, I had nothing to say and I felt unhappy and deprived. Later, through Christian Science I learned that God is our true Parent, an ever-present Father-Mother to everyone. This newfound understanding of my relationship to God healed those early feelings.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says ``The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, -- that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.''1 As I prayed, I began to see that since God is All and everywhere, I would never be outside my heavenly Father's care. Right where I was, God was there too. I gained a deeper feeling of being needed and cherished.

Christ Jesus said, ``Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.''2 When I began to realize that the one omnipresent Parent, divine Love, was with me all the time, I began also to appreciate how God's fathering qualities had been a part of my life. I stopped the constant looking for someone to do fatherlike things for me. I could see how guidance and support had always been a part of my life.

It would seem that we're mere creatures of the flesh, living apart from our creator and sometimes separated from the qualities that mean so much to us. But this isn't a true view of man. Each one of us, in truth, is God's spiritual likeness, inseparable from the fullness of the divine nature. Each of us, then, has a perfect Father, divine Love. The nature of this heavenly Parent is to bless continually. Love can never be less than loving. And being universal Love, God does not provide one of His children with more than another. Nor does He provide more love tomorrow or did He provide less love yesterday. In a profound sense, we do not have to earn such love nor work at keeping it with us. Indeed, could the infinite be increased?

Remembering that God's fatherhood is continually being expressed through spiritual qualities, not necessarily through a male person, I was able to stop worrying about my student. What was true for me is true for her and is true for all children everywhere. We can't know or reach all of them, but we can affirm in prayer what is spiritually true for all the world's children: that they are being cared for by God. And we can realize that this truth is made practical in the meeting of their immediate needs through the power of divine law.

When we learn more about our relationship to God as His perpetually cared-for children, and see that this must be true for everyone, we bring regeneration into our own lives and help forward brotherhood around the world.

1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 275. 2Matthew 23:9. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.

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