HAVE you ever been so lost in a problem that you longed to feel the strong, comforting embrace of your father's arms? This longing is answered in the understanding of God as our ever-present Father-Mother.
A knowledge of our relation to divine Love is the very core and foundation for our happiness and health. We never outgrow our need for God's parenting. Nothing can destroy or hurt our fundamental relationship to God. In reality, we are not humans struggling for divine help, but His divinely created children, always secure in His care. No condition has power to take us away from His tender, healing presence.
Christ Jesus' parable of the prodigal son tells of a father whose younger son went out into the world and spent his inheritance on riotous living (see Luke 15:11-24). Eventually, he found himself hungry enough to eat the husks left for the pigs that he was feeding. He felt alone and without love or comfort. The Bible tells us that "he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Once the son let go of self-condemnation, let go of stubbornness, pride, and self-will, and decided to be humble enough to let his father love him, he found love was there to welcome him with openhearted joy.
Man is never outside the Father-Mother Love. God always has been and always will be ever present-no matter how far we think we have strayed, or how awful we think our life has become. The knowledge of this will give us the support and confidence to realize that we are not alone, battling the world. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: "Never more sweet than to-day, seem to me, and must seem to thee, those words of our loved Lord, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end.' Thus may it ever be that Christ rejoiceth and comforteth us. Sitting at his feet, I send to you the throbbing of every pulse of my desire for the ripening and rich fruit of this branch of his vine, and I thank God who hath sent forth His word to heal and to save" (p. 159).
God's saving love is not abstract, as a friend of mine learned. Working at an office and caring for a family while dealing with some very pressing personal problems had become extremely challenging for her. She felt put upon, burdened, rushed-at the end of her coping capacity. As she was driving home from work one day, the story of the prodigal son came to her thought, and her desire for the affection and support of a father or mother helped her to realize that all these feelings of pressure, fear, and depression were her own prodigal experience. She suddenly saw her need to go home to God as the prodigal son had returned to his home.
Turning her thought to God, she realized that she had never left God's care and that she was spiritually at one with Him. She felt a softness and an opening up inside. A warmth and a sweet, trusting, childlike peace flooded her thought. She didn't know how, but she knew God would help her and her family.
As she got out of the car, she was greeted by her young son, who ran up to her and, with a sweet kiss, said, "I love you, Mom!" No sooner had she gotten to the door than a young neighborhood child, holding an armload of green peppers, offered them as a gift from his garden. These small gestures were like giant neon billboards to her thought. She could feel God's loving presence and its tangible care, and recognized that what she had just seen in her experience was the result of the change in her thinking. This was a new beginning that led to much growth and healing.
When we feel spiritually lost and alone, with walls separating us from hope and love, we can claim our immortal identity and our receptivity to God's love. As we do, we see more of the nothingness of mortal limitations and the allness of good. God's love never stops loving; His wisdom is always good. We can awake and turn home to the waiting arms of our ever-present Father-Mother Love.