Alone at Christmas?

Is there a spiritual viewpoint that can heal the painful thought of being alone, especially at the holiday season? I found one. When I was a new student of Christian Science, my marriage was dissolved just a few weeks before Christmas. My children would be with their paternal grandparents as in previous years. But I was not invited.

I dreaded the approaching holiday time, as my home would seem unnaturally empty with everyone gone.

I had been learning to pray about every hurt and disappointment, so I turned to God for a spiritual view that would help me.

My prayers were answered in this way. I realized that I had often yearned for more quiet time for deep study and prayer. I never thought of that time as one of loneliness, but rather as a time of sweet solitude. And so I began to look forward to the holidays as an opportunity for quietness and spiritual progress.

I grew in my desire to respond on a deeper level to each traditional Christmas concept - that is, each symbol, such as the angels, the guiding star, the manger, the humble shepherds, the wise men.

For example, I saw that the angels had brought God's messages of assurance and fearlessness to those with listening hearts. I too, then, prayed for a listening heart that could hear God's angels, His pure thoughts. And as I considered the Bethlehem star, I saw it as symbolizing the light of the eternal Christ, the saving Truth, which is always present to bless humanity. Then I prayed for the meekness of the shepherds, who rejoiced in the Saviour's birth and glorified God. I prayed that that same Christly light would lead me into a clearer understanding of my relationship to God.

I pondered the story of the three wise men. They had quietly obeyed the angel message, returning to their own country without reporting back to King Herod, who sought to destroy the Bethlehem babe. As a result of this inspiration I was awakened to a higher sense of obedience, determined not to let the Herod-thought of selfishness destroy or even interfere with my desire to welcome, protect, and cherish the appearing of the Christ in my own consciousness. This ruled out all self-pity and self-indulgence. I companioned with the Christ - it was one of the most precious Christmases I have ever experienced.

Passing years have brought a new marriage partner and a sweet sense of home and family. The holidays have again become happy family times, but tradition hasn't seemed quite so all-consuming as before. Preparations have become simplified as I persist in drawing ever closer to realizing the true significance of the coming of the Christ and the immense importance of Jesus' lifework. He was humanity's Way-shower, revealing God's absolute supremacy and man's actual heritage as God's whole and pure offspring.

No one need feel alone. The truth is that we cannot be separated from God, because God, Love, fills all space. The Apostle Paul wrote, ''I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'' n1

n1 Romans 8:38, 39.

An awakened yearning to realize this truth will manifest in us more of the Christly qualities of joy, gentleness, unselfishness, gratitude, and caring. These God-derived attributes are available to each of us, and they bring with them the genuine satisfaction and good that can come only from God.

God is able to provide whatever angel thought we may need to break the mesmeric self-pity of loneliness. We can expect to find fulfilled these words of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy: ''The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.'' n2

n2 Science and Health with key to the Scriptures p. 574. Welcoming and entertaining God's healing, guiding messages, we won't feel alone at Christmas, or any time. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us . . . . Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth. Psalms 115:12, 15

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