When your grown child is far away

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

It's often believed that the strongest human bond is between parent and child. So family celebrations on holidays can seem less than happy when a parent's grown children are far away, for whatever reason.

When those we hold dear are not near, it's consoling to remember that God is. Whatever the occasion, it's helpful to consider that no one person is the source of good. All good comes from God. As no adoring parents would make it hard for a child to be convinced of their constant affection and complete devotion, so it is with God, the Father and Mother of the universe. God can always be depended on to provide proof of His eternal and uninterrupted love for His children.

Human love is inspired by divine Love, which is unrestricted by time or place. So whatever the day, wherever we are, this love that ultimately comes from God can be activated, recognized, and celebrated by all. God being everywhere present, each individual can feel the comforting presence of divine Love. So we are all always united in Soul's tender, consoling embrace. The consciousness of this expression of God's love helps dispel a feeling of separation from those we love.

When feeling isolated from loved ones, one can ask God, not where can I get more love today, but where can I give more? An answer to that prayer can prove that love never really leaves. Love is available to provide a wonderful and often unexpected form of expression.

One holiday weekend, a mother was in a quiet restaurant having lunch with a friend. While the friend went to the ladies' room, the mom called her son who lives out of town. He was spending the day with friends, and the conversation was filled with love and laughter. When their phone visit was over, she wished she were having lunch with her son. But to her, it was more important that he was sounding so happy.

As she sat at the table, silently thanking God for her son's happiness, several large vans pulled up and parked outside the restaurant. From them emerged about 20 college baseball players and their coaches from an out-of-state school. There were so many that they filled the tables that surrounded hers. As she sat there, she thought of all their loving parents who had let them be away to be with their teams. She knew she had enough mother-love in her heart to include them all because that love, having no limits, emanates from God, the Mother and Father of all life. And she felt certain that God's love embraced all parents and children everywhere. With that realization, all yearning to be sharing her table with her son on that day dissolved.

When her friend returned, she asked the woman, "What's that big smile about?" She told her what she'd been thinking about, and both women rejoiced in God's tender affection expressed in this way. As they left, passing one of the tables filled with baseball players, one of the young men looked up at the woman and gave her a smile as warm and welcoming as her own son's would have been. That was, for her, another sweet validation of God's obvious and tangible love for all.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote a poem titled "Signs of the Heart," which includes this encouragement:

O Love divine,
This heart of Thine
Is all I need to comfort mine.
"Poems," p. 24

While it wasn't her intention that we be isolated from others, she must have felt certain that anytime you need to feel loved, God will have a way to fill that need. Because God is Love and everywhere present, you can never be away from love any more than you can be away from God. Even if certain loved ones are not at your side, you can still feel the presence of God's love in some way. God can be depended upon to preserve that feeling of being companioned because it is the divine nature to be all love, always.

God, the divine Father-Mother, includes all in one affection, constantly, obviously, and impartially. This happy fact is one to be commemorated, every day.

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