MY husband and I were moving only six miles away. The move took two trips in a rented truck and three trips with the family car. Our dog took this move the hardest. With each load of furniture taken out, he became more agitated. When we returned with the car to load up the last few odds and ends, he was barking feverishly. As we packed the car, he hugged the tailgate in a way we'd never seen before. We realized by then that he was afraid of being left behind.
It was ridiculous, of course. Our dog was part of the family. But there was no way to explain to him that we'd be moving the furniture first and him last. His strange behavior stopped when we loaded him into the car for the final trip to the new place. He could see he was coming with us!
Maybe we've all had panicky moments when we felt we were being left behind. People sometimes feel that way when co-workers progress without them. Teen-agers do, too, when not included in a special social event. And parents can feel forgotten when their grown children leave home.
With all the changes and challenges in life, there's one constant. That's our relationship to God, to almighty Love. At moments when we feel abandoned, we can find comfort in our unity with our heavenly Father-Mother.
Christian Science, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, brings out the Biblical truth that man is actually divine Love's image, its reflection. Each of us, in his genuine, God-created, spiritual identity, is inseparable from God. Our purpose is to bear witness to the divine nature, to express God's qualities.
We're able to live because of our unity with God, immortal Life. We're able to love because of our unity with divine Love. All that we are, all that we truly know or feel, comes to us from God. There's no way we can be separated from our source.
The Scriptures help us understand the unity between God and man. For example, the book of Isaiah represents God as saying: ``Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.''1 If we have an inseparable relationship to God, why is it we sometimes feel alone, afraid, abandoned? Isn't it because we're thinking of ourselves as susceptible physical beings living worlds apart from God, from the very source of love?
The physical senses can discern only physical things. They can't perceive the presence of God, good. To feel divine Love's embrace, we have to see spiritually, to acknowledge and discern in prayer the reality of God's infinite presence and care and the wholeness of our being as His likeness.
When we turn our thought Godward through consecrated prayer and then listen for the one divine Mind to reveal itself, we come to know the divine nature. We begin to feel something of Love's nurturing, protecting power.
Study of the Scriptures also awakens us to our unity with God. We learn through the lives of Abraham, Moses, Paul, and above all Christ Jesus, that God is an ever-present help. We see in their lives vivid proofs of Love's care for man. I can remember a time when I felt left behind. I was in my early twenties, living a thousand miles from home, when suddenly I was fired from the first full-time job I had ever had. It was work that I treasured. In despair and confusion, I wrote to a friend for consolation. I didn't hear from that friend for a long time, and by then the crisis had passed.
What did I do? I prayed, looking heavenward for comfort. It took some doing, but gradually I felt Love's presence with me. I began to see hope, purpose, and a new beginning. Most important, prayer awakened a sense of humility in me, a willingness to reexamine the past few months to see where I might have done better. Divine Love did more than console me; it also corrected me.
Feeling God's love, I was receptive to the kindness of those around me. People I had worked with offered me housing until I could find a new job. I gladly accepted. Before long I was again happily employed -- and stayed that way.
I got a glimpse through this experience of the fact that divine Love never leaves us. I could see, too, the importance of awaking, through prayer, to the presence of Love. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.''2
As God's precious children, we can never be left behind. We can never be separated from good. Our belief that Love has left us is dispelled through silent communion with our Father-Mother God. Through our prayer, Love reveals its tender presence.
1Isaiah 49:15. 2Science and Health, p. 2. - NO BIBLE VERSE TODAY -