IT'S nice to have a best friend. Your best friend shares happy times with you and makes you feel better when you're sad. Wouldn't it be great if this friend were always with you? I learned that the love I felt when I was with my friends is always with me because God is the source of all real love. God is Love, and I found that I could always count on Love. I started thinking of God as my best friend.
This is how it happened: I was just beginning high school, and I was miserable. It was tough to make friends. Not only was I a little shy, but in my previous school I had been picked on by other kids, and I was afraid that would happen again. Joining activities didn't help. I felt as if I didn't belong, and that I would always be on the outside.
Christian Science Sunday School is where I learned that God is Love. I was also learning that you can solve problems through prayer and through what you learn about God in the Bible and in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. I wanted to put into practice what I was learning about God to heal this situation.
I realized that because God is Love, He is always loving and loves everyone--including me! God doesn't just love the cheerleaders or the football players or the ``in crowd.'' He didn't make some children outgoing and likable, and others dull and unattractive. Our real identity is God's spiritual likeness. Mrs. Eddy points out in Science and Health, ``The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God.'' God gives every one of his children grace, intelligence, happiness, and talent . What He makes is beautiful, good, joyous, loved.
Christ Jesus taught that everyone is worthy of God's love. He didn't just hang around with the ``popular guys'' or the rich and powerful, but he went to those who most needed to know they were God's perfect children--the sick, the poor, and those considered sinners. Matthew's Gospel tells us that when the disciples asked him, ``Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'' he presented a small child--someone who was not exactly on the top-ten list of important people in his society! Jesus pointed out t hat we need to follow this child's example by being more humble. He taught that this would actually give us a better life.
Everything I was learning about God and His spiritual idea, man, helped me to see myself more spiritually. As God's spiritual reflection, I am already confident, happy, valuable, complete. No matter what activity I'm involved in, I can express the qualities God gives me, such as creativity, beauty, and strength. I saw that I didn't have to look to others to measure how good I am. I'm good right now, because that's how God made me! But my prayers couldn't stop there. I had to see others in this way, too. It wouldn't be right for me to see myself as a wonderful idea of God, and others as simply popular or unpopular.
I don't remember exactly when things changed, but I found myself feeling happier and more confident. I stopped being afraid that people were going to pick on me and look at me as an outcast. I found myself being more outgoing toward others and making many new friends. And one teacher remarked what a nice smile I had!
I guess you could say that God is everyone's best friend. There are no cliques or outcasts at all in His kingdom, but we are all included and cherished, like one big family.
This article originally appeared in the August 31, 1992, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.