HAVE you ever felt isolated in a group? Or even lonely with others whose outlook was different from yours? On the other hand, maybe you've felt completely content when working for unselfish ends -- even if that work happened to be conducted apart from others. Doesn't this suggest that joy is related more to our inward thoughts than to our outward circumstances? In Hebrews we read of the spiritual company into which Christians may enter, in these words, ``Ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.''1 The heavenly city with its ``innumerable company of angels'' is not distant or mythical. As we understand more of God and His kingdom, we can begin to experience this heavenly order -- and the tender companionship it brings -- in our present experience.
When I found that I would soon be living as well as working alone, loneliness appeared likely. I had previously lived alone while working at another job where contact with people was infrequent. Similar emptiness seemed to lie ahead.
This time, however, I realized I could prove that the Bible promise of innumerable angels at hand was true for me. As a Bible student, I understood angels to be thoughts born of God. And these thoughts, or angels -- appreciation, love, beauty, goodness, and joy, for example -- are always available.
I began to see that the loneliness I had anticipated was deceptive. It was not really caused by the absence of people but by a more basic feeling that goodness and meaning were lacking. For lasting joy, I needed a deeper sense of God's caring presence.
As I prayed, I began to see more clearly that all the love we know actually has its source in God. Because we are in truth spiritual, God's own likeness, we can never be apart from Him or His infinite goodness. Christ Jesus understood God's ever-presence. He said, ``I am not alone, because the Father is with me.''2
Actually, it is our responsiveness to God's presence and His thoughts that gives our relationships genuine depth and meaning. These heavenly intuitions strengthen our own spirituality and heighten our appreciation of the real spiritual nature of others. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains: ``Angels are God's representatives. These upward-soaring beings never lead towards self, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, whither every real individuality, image, or likeness of God, gathers.''3
As I actively prayed to live according to what I was learning about my spiritual identity, I found it impossible to be lonely. Old friendships took on new dimensions, and new friendships blossomed. I also found myself engaged in satisfying activities that my quiet surroundings permitted me to pursue in depth. I felt more consistently the company of worthwhile and uplifting ideas -- and found the circle in which these rich blessings could be shared widening.
We can become increasingly aware of the spiritual identity that is actually ours and so find ourselves more frequently in the presence of ``an innumerable company of angels.'' It is not too much to expect sorrowful isolation to be replaced with joy -- the joy of discovering that we are even now a loved part of God's abundant creation.
1Hebrews 12:22. 2John 16:32. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 299.