BROKEN homes and stepparents, first marriages and second marriages, career women and stay-at-home men. Relationships have become so perplexing that at times I've felt inadequate to deal with all of the changes. When this has happened, I've found it helpful to go back to the basics of who we truly are as God's children and the tender love He has for us. Christ Jesus came to show us the Father's love for His children; yet Jesus was not unaware of the difficulties people can have with relationships. In the Sermon on the Mount he counseled, ``...be reconciled to thy brother.''1 Jesus confronted and overcame the most challenging human conditions. The Master's wonderful works show clearly that debility and lack and sin are not what God intends for us. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of Christ Jesus: ``This Christ, or divinity of the man Jesus, was his divine nature, the godliness which animated him.... His mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man.''2
Through Christ we can find our lasting relationship to the Father -- a relationship that will strengthen our human families and friendships. In fact, a deeper understanding of Christ helps us realize that true completeness isn't found in human relationships at all, but is found in God, ever-present, divine Love.
As Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health: ``Man is the family name for all ideas, -- the sons and daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power.''3 Recognizing the worthiness, grace, and love that man truly has as God's beloved child, we begin to see that we are not really isolated in separate paths of our own making. Man, moving ``in accord'' with our Father-Mother God, divine Spirit, must in reality be wholly spiritual, inseparable from Him -- not ever truly alone, unappreciated, or vulnerable.
As we understand this fact, we begin to see that a fulfilling, productive life isn't just a longed-for possibility but is a truly natural part of our birthright. I've found that as I sincerely try to put God first in my life, my love for God (and His love for me) tends to spill over into everything I do. At first this kind of warmth and caring may only be expressed in small ways -- an encouraging smile, a conversation with a neighbor, or a telephone call to someone we haven't talked to for years. But eventually this Christly love weaves its way into the fabric of our lives and begins to fill the empty places in our hearts. As we follow Christ and align ourselves with God's law and God's love, our needs are met in practical ways. We may be united with family, supplied with fulfilling companionship, blessed with forgiveness and wholeness -- whatever we individually need.
The lines of a favorite hymn describe for me the spiritual completeness we find in God:
I walk with Love along the way, And O, it is a holy day; No more I suffer cruel fear, I feel God's presence with me here; The joy that none can take away Is mine; I walk with Love today.4
The comfort in these words has lifted me out of some of the loneliest times in my life. The words describe a lasting relationship to our Father-Mother God -- one we can always depend on.
1Matthew 5:24. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 26. 3Ibid., p. 515. 4Christian Science Hymnal, No. 139.