We cannot actually be without the joys and comfort of a family, because we cannot be separated from God. Each of us is His child, held in our Father-Mother’s care.
Even if one’s life lacks the presence of family members, it need not lack security, affection, compassion, or fulfillment. These all come from God, who watches over each of us, supplying all good – tenderly. The good that comes from God is not a cold handout but an expression of His love. Every gift from Him not only meets our human need, but brings with it a warm sense of joy. It causes us to feel loved. Christ Jesus referred to God as our Father many times, and through his healings he showed people that God is our Mother, too, caring for man eternally. Jesus once said, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
If God does care for us, why do we at times feel so desolate? Perhaps because our thoughts are so riveted to the appearance of a physical void that we haven’t yet recognized the spiritual presence of God. God is divine Love, who creates and cares for man, Love’s expression. Infinite Love and its infinite creation, which is not material but spiritual, are actually present here and now.
Have you ever felt purely unselfish love for someone or something or just rejoiced in the beauty of life? Then you have glimpsed and felt something of the presence of spiritual reality. Love’s creation is forever teeming with spiritual ideas, with spiritual qualities and action. While there may seem to be gaps between moments when we feel the true joy of life (we could call them moments of spiritual insight and inspiration), there are never any gaps in Love’s presence – no desolate pockets of emptiness or inactivity. Love’s ideas are everywhere and ceaselessly active. God’s love and joy continually abound and are individualized in everyone’s true selfhood.
What is needed to feel this joy – to experience divine Love’s goodness – continually? Prayer. Heartfelt, thoughtful acknowledgment and praise of God. Prayer confidently affirms our Father-Mother’s goodness and presence and denies the fear-based belief that God’s child can ever be outside His love. Prayer means persevering in the conviction that we – and everyone – are even now held in divine Love’s care.
As God’s man, or Love’s idea, each of us reflects divine Life and its qualities, divine Mind and its ideas. Spontaneity, joy, intelligence, vigor, peace, and more eternally shine through our God-given selfhood. “Man is not absorbed in Deity,” writes Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, “and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 259).
“God setteth the solitary in families,” says the Bible (Psalm 68:6). Through prayer and spiritual understanding we inevitably become aware of the spiritual goodness, joy, and love that surround us. We feel more love for others. We are happier. We find our needs being met, and we feel loved. In simple ways like this we awake to our eternal oneness with our Father-Mother, God.
Reprinted from the June 19, 1978, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.