Most of us want to be loved. But what if friendships don't come our way? Are we stuck with loneliness? Not if we turn to God. Christ Jesus taught that God, divine Love, is the Father of us all. And the Apostle Paul wrote, ''In him (God) we live, and move, and have our being.'' n1 Even glimpsing these great truths can ease loneliness by a thankful sense of Love's caring presence.
n1 Acts 17:28.
But God's influence isn't only comforting. Whatever factors contribute to unwanted solitariness - one's own shyness, for example, or others' aloofness - can be overcome through the power of divine Love, which is felt through prayer. Our Way-shower, Jesus, was constantly turning to his divine source. No wonder his life was filled with the ministering spirit of universal Love.
It's only natural, if we're overmuch alone, to feel that our great need is to be loved. So, in a sense, it is. But the sure way to win love is to love - and we're better able to do that as we feel through prayer more of divine Love's presence and more of our unity with Love as its offspring. Genuine, Christly love is the supreme attractive power, developed in us by devotion to God, the Spirit which is Love.
''There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit,'' n2 states Mary Baker Eddy.n3 As we worship and obey Spirit, letting divine Love prompt our words and actions, we're drawn to others and others to us.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 102.
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Christly love isn't shy, or afraid to make the first approach of friendliness. Such love isn't suspicious of others' motives - though it isn't naive, either. Love forgives human inadequacies and magnifies good qualities, because in reflecting this pure love, we're able to discern the child of God in everyone.
What do we mean by discerning the child of God in ourselves or another?
Christian Science, in accord with the Scriptures, shows that we aren't what we seem to be. We appear to be physical, destructible, imperfect mortals. But clearly, the perfect creator couldn't have created imperfection. He must have made man perfect. Just as obviously, the one Spirit can have only spiritual children. So despite the insistence of the five senses, we're really the spiritual sons and daughters of God, the likeness of our Father, expressing immortality, freedom, health, love for all. We aren't, in our true selfhood, locked into matter, beset with personality problems, nor subject to being tempted into godless ways. In reality, man does God's will because it is his natural fulfillment. He loves spontaneously and naturally all of God's offspring and is loved by all.
This is the kingdom of heaven, and we can begin to discover its presence within us. We discern it gradually, aspect by aspect, through cultivating our spiritual sense, listening to the quiet intuitions that come as God's, divine Mind's, guiding and strengthening ideas. ''Spiritual sense,'' Mrs. Eddy explains , ''is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God.'' n4
n4 Science and Health, p. 209.
Our spiritual sense becomes keener through diligent use - that is, through prayer and a spiritually based perception of ourselves, our activities, our contacts with others.
This habit of turning to the kingdom of perfection within for better views of all that concerns us, transforms daily life. People become more interesting to us - and more lovable. We glimpse increasingly the beautiful in character, the divine, in them. And seeing the divine helps to bring it out in human experience , as the Saviour superlatively proved.
In this atmosphere of love, loneliness has to fade out. Love isn't lonely. Even sitting alone, we can think lovingly of someone or of mankind in general. Such thoughts bless others and ourselves.
This is the heavenly life we're learning on earth. It enables us to rejoice in every scrap of good perceived in others. And it makes us active participants in the healing of all loneliness. DAILY BIBLE VERSE If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. I John 4:12