Author Kurt Vonnegut believes that the most daring among us would "create communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured" (http://quotes.prolix.nu/Loneliness).
Like any form of unhappiness or dis-ease, the pangs of loneliness can consume one's thoughts and feel larger than life itself. Loneliness, however, is a product, not of God, or good, but of evil. And as Vonnegut suggests, communities filled with acts of unselfed love - where loneliness can find no starting or resting point - would enable feelings of individual belonging and satisfaction to flourish.
It's common knowledge that loneliness makes no distinction between the companioned or solitary. There are many people who love solitude, but numerous websites and research studies focusing on loneliness suggest that many more individuals feel desolate. And advertising, movies, and TV productions do not support the lonely heart, particularly when the idea of being alone is presented as aberrant.
Yet there is a natural, inevitable companionship with God to be discovered and understood, which includes exemption from all forms of evil, including loneliness. God is a loving Father-Mother who is always pouring out grace and worthiness over His entire creation. In that divine embrace, there is no room to feel desolate or abandoned.
And when seen as an impersonal evil, not from God or belonging to any of His children, feelings of desolation and abandonment begin to disappear naturally. Accepting that God's care is not haphazard, that it permeates one's entire being, reveals that nothing outside one's natural expression of all that God gives - such as intelligence, opportunity, resourcefulness - is necessary to maintaining happiness.
A single prayer that acknowledges God's perfect companioning and care, of everyone, is enough to wipe away despair or emptiness. Just think of the far-reaching peace that a moment-by-moment abolishing of loneliness, through individual spiritually scientific prayer, would bring - to families concerned for loved ones, to the homeless, to the lone neighbor or church member. And to one's own self when caught off guard as if by a sudden summer storm.
Reasoning from the perspective that God's infinite goodness precludes the possibility that any one of His children could feel less than fulfilled, gives one courage to see through the fear of loneliness. Then, even beyond the promise that "God setteth the solitary in families," one finds he or she is already fulfilled, companioned with all the good that God is (Ps. 68:6).
This reasoning of God's immediate everywhere-present care, brings with it, as well, a heartfelt desire to help others who feel alone. It enables those opening their hearts and homes to do so with a warmth that fosters a feeling of belonging in everyone.
As Mary Baker Eddy searched the Bible for a deeper understanding of God, health and purpose filled what had been a life of devastating sadness and loneliness. What she saw of God as divine Love redeemed her own life so completely that she was able to heal others of despair and disease.
Of her own quest for divine answers, she wrote, "The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 109). Mrs. Eddy's solitary search revealed to her, and to generations since who have practiced the Christ Science explained in Science and Health, that what is inevitable and natural is spiritual wholeness, never desolation or isolation. Ridding today's society of the loneliness that fosters sadness and violence can begin with one's own individual - and sometimes solitary - search for divine answers. Why not expect it, too, to be "sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope"?
• Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.