MOST of us find ourselves searching for companionship at one time or another. We yearn for someone to understand us, to laugh with us, to cheer us on when times get rough. As we take a deeper look into this need to feel ``connected, we discover that man's unity with God is the true basis for satisfying human companionship.
A New Testament writer who understood that man can never be separated from God, divine Love, explained in Romans, ``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."
The Bible tells us that man is God's likeness. Man is the expression of God's infinite goodness, and God loves His creation. It is the mistaken view of man as a mortal cut off from God that causes loneliness and unhappiness. But God (not other people) provides us with all the appreciation, care, and respect that we need. Talk about a satisfying relationship!
But what if we feel that our daily lives don't include the warmth of ever-present Love? We don't have to go on living with this false sense of isolation. Christian Science teaches that divine Love is tangible to us right now. Since God is omnipresent, there can never be a moment when we are away from Him. Even when circumstances appear bleak, Christ is there to lift our thoughts out of confusion and sorrow. Christ--God's message, assuring us of His presence and love--is there to comfort, inspire, and hea l us. Jesus taught and demonstrated this. We need only to grow in our understanding of God's love to see more of it in our lives.
As we feel closer to God, we will begin to feel more ``connected" with other people, too. We are all, in reality, the spiritual children of God, forever united in God's universal family. As we approach the issue of companionship from this standpoint, we find ourselves naturally appreciating and valuing the distinct individuality and spiritual goodness of others while at the same time discovering more of our own completeness and worth as God's idea. This spiritual understanding can help us discern and fol low God's guidance in working out relationship difficulties.
At one point I felt it was right to conclude a romantic relationship that had lasted for about three years. At first this wasn't easy. As I gained more trust in God's direction, however, the fear of being alone dissipated. I realized that as God's complete, spiritual idea, I possessed joy and security. I wasn't dependent on another person to provide me with these qualities. I knew that I couldn't be separated from God's love, which provided the true happiness in my life. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer a nd Founder of Christian Science, states in her Message to The Mother Church for 1902, ``Happiness consists in being and in doing good; only what God gives, and what we give ourselves and others through His tenure, confers happiness: conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can."
A few months later a relationship developed with someone else that led to a happy marriage. This experience illustrated to me that finding satisfying human companionship begins with understanding man's oneness with God. The recognition of our spiritual identity expands both our capacity to love and our opportunities to love. It enriches our relationships with others and inevitably results in a deeper feeling of contentment.