ALONENESS is not just the absence of loved ones. One may feel alone in his convictions or alone in his view of what's needed. But any feeling of isolation can be overcome through understanding the love of God. Christ Jesus understood God's love to be always present. He was frequently alone in his views and often without real companionship, yet he proclaimed, ``The Father hath not left me alone.'' 1 Our Master did not consent to any species of isolation. Such a feeling was wholly incompatible with his unwavering conviction that he existed in the presence of God.
Is this understanding available to us? And is it really sufficient to break up feelings of aloneness?
We have access to the Christly understanding of God's closeness, because God is also ``our Father.'' After his resurrection, Jesus told Mary Magdalene, ``Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.'' 2
The love of the Father is ours to feel and rejoice in. We can accept His comforting, His companioning, His strengthening. As we embrace the truth of God's fatherhood and man's spiritual sonship, we naturally cast off the sadness and fear of loneliness.
But if we are in the habit of believing God to be absent, we have some work to do. Prayer, and study of the Bible's healing message, make our unbroken relationship to God more alive to us. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes of one occasion, ``Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views.'' 3
Through prayer and study we can come to brighter, spiritual views. That is, we can come to see more clearly that we are in the presence of God, that we can't possibly be cut off from God. Through consistent prayer we begin to realize that our relationship to God is indestructible, providing purpose and satisfaction in practical ways. Prayer shatters the sense of aloneness.
``But,'' one may think, ``I need more than just a relationship to God to overcome feeling alone. Even Jesus companioned with his disciples, but I have no one.'' Jesus was deserted by his friends when he needed them most. Anticipating his trial and crucifixion, Jesus said to his disciples, ``Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.'' 4
There can be no sense of incompleteness, no loss, for one who understands himself to be in the presence of God's fulfilling goodness.
We can increasingly understand that God is a constant source of happiness and find that our fulfillment is not at the mercy of changing personal relationships. This does not mean that we disdain the joys of family and friends. God's love for us may often be expressed in just this way. But when cherishing others, we can remember that their goodness and warmth are reflections of God's unending love.
Would God create His children dependent for happiness on something fragile and temporal? Are we helpless victims of time or chance? No, God has created man fully dependent on Himself. This dependence includes no emptiness and no vulnerability. Jesus' words-- ``The Father hath not left me alone''-- constitute an eternal law of our being.
1 John 8:29. 2 John 20:17. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 32. 4 John 16:32. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17