In our highly populated world, it seems strange that a recurring problem is loneliness. Those who feel lonely are often found in some of the most populated places, such as a crowded college or a busy city.
Why need we never feel lonely? Simply put, because we are never alone. We are always in the presence of God. Sometimes the cause of loneliness is inability to relate to those we're with. But how could we fail to relate to our loving, divine Father-Mother? Out of the depths of loneliness we can turn to Him for friendship, comfort, and strength.
Patriarchs and prophets in the Bible often sought to be alone with God. His words to Moses in the wilderness ''My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest'' n1 are appropriate and practical for us today if we're passing through a wilderness of our own. Our moments shared with God lead to more fulfilling companionships, because a perception of our relationship to Him is the basis for blessed and satisfying human relationships. Time spent in prayer enriches and strengthens our lives and helps us enrich the lives of others as well.
n1 Exodus 33:14.
A woman, sent by her head office to work in a large city where she had neither friends nor relatives, became desperately lonely. Because she felt she had little in common with her fellow workers, their presence did nothing to alleviate her feeling of utter aloneness. At first she kept hoping that friends from home would call, but, imagining her to be having an exciting time in the big city, they never did. One evening as she sat in her room in tears, she realized that she hadn't thought to turn to God for help, as she was accustomed to doing with other troubles. She prayed to God for guidance and gradually began to feel more at peace.
As a student of Christian Science, she studied the Bible, and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, n2 which are in harmony with the Bible. In one of Mrs. Eddy's works she found this helpful passage: ''Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss.'' n3 She understood that God's love never changes. It continues in all its tender appropriateness, whether we are in a city or a desert. His love is expressed in many different ways, always relevant to the need of the hour.
n2 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Miscellaneous writings
The next day the woman was prompted to turn this challenge of loneliness into an opportunity. She thought of a way she could be helpful to others in her spare time, and spent several evenings working on this idea. She also tried to be more loving and friendly to others. Occupying herself with being helpful, she forgot herself and began to enjoy what she was doing. In a very short time she had made several friendships, which have endured for many years.
In this increasingly crowded world more and more people seek solitude, whether on a quiet beach, in a wilderness area, or somewhere else. Many would say their purpose is to enjoy the strength of the mountains, the beauty of the ocean, or just to get their thoughts straight. Perhaps what they, and all of us, really want is to get reacquainted with God, with the creator of all loveliness, with the supreme intelligence of the universe. The reacquainting that comes through prayer, through communing with God, strengthens and refreshes and gives us a clearer sense of direction. The joy of being alone with God, in the serenity of His presence, is a holy experience rarely found in a crowd.
Some people fear being alone, especially at night, because they feel unsafe. But there are other people who live alone in big cities who can testify to a feeling of safety at any time of the day or night because they trust their welfare to God's care and realize His love for all.
The words of a hymn speak of the power of Love, God, to dispel all loneliness:
Once more the lonely heart is fed.
Who dwells with Love hath perfect ease,
Faith, hope, and joy are with us all;
Great are companions such as these. n4
n4 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 34
The quiet certainty that man is forever in God's presence dissolves shadows of apprehension and replaces them with a deep trust in His all-power. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. . . . Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.