Just for singles

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

A buddy of mine kept noticing he was one of the only people he knew who was without a significant other. Everyone in his family was married. Most of his best friends had taken the leap. Celebrations like Valentine's Day made him want to stay out of sight for the duration.

A few years earlier, he'd been asked to officiate at his brother's wedding; the county where the marriage took place had a one-day accreditation for this purpose. This couple even wanted my friend to write the service. He remembered the joy of that time - the celebration of another's union, and the rightness and completeness of it.

Now, while considering his own single status, he recalled a sentence he'd read in the Christian Science textbook when he was preparing for the service: "Union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitutes completeness" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 57).

What are "the masculine and feminine qualities"? We might think of intelligence, strength, justice, and activity as masculine qualities. Gentleness, beauty, and purity might seem more feminine. But don't you feel instinctively that the expression of these qualities can't be limited to a specific gender? After all, men can be gentle and pure. Women can be intelligent and strong. Both men and women can be beautiful, just, and active.

These qualities are all from God. They are spiritual. God is Love, the source of gentleness. God is Mind, the source of intelligence. Other names for God include Soul, Spirit, Principle, Truth, Life. These ways of looking at God reveal His/Her complete nature. No element of God's nature can exist without the others - they all make up one Supreme Being.

According to the Bible, we are created in God's very likeness (see Gen. 1:27). Since the divine Spirit created us like itself, our actual identity is a union of spiritual qualities. God is the source of our existence.

In thinking about these ideas, my friend concluded that we cannot be isolated from half of the good God created simply because we happen to be unmarried. Again, we include all the qualities of God. Even though it doesn't always feel that way, we are already complete, whether we're single or married.

This is a Christian message. During three years as a revolutionary teacher and preacher, Jesus shook the very foundations of the thought of his day with such messages. Once, when the local religious authorities challenged him as to when "God's kingdom" would come, he answered: "There is no use saying, 'Look! Here it is' or 'Look! There it is.' God's kingdom is here with you" (Luke 17:20, 21, Contemporary English Version). This healing message confounded many people.

Today, some single people might also be confounded to hear that they have direct access to all that married people have "here and now." But, since good is in essence spiritual, from God, it is not materially limited by anything, and it is available now.

My friend realized that the joy he had felt at his brother's wedding was not given only to certain people or limited to any particular day. It was his divine right to be happy. Another passage in Science and Health says, "May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to human life an inspiration by which man's spiritual and eternal existence may be discerned" (pg. 65). Although it didn't look like my friend had a "bridal altar" of his own in the immediate future, he started feeling he could still enjoy that goodness right then. He asked himself, "Aren't we all in the presence of God every day?" Whenever he found himself feeling lonely or incomplete, he focused on the spiritual fact that he could have everything he needed at that moment.

Maybe my friend will get married. But at any rate, he doesn't feel he has to wait for someone else to make his life complete right now. This perspective has brought him a new feeling of being complete while he is single. More and more, he's finding that "God's kingdom," the presence of all good, isn't a future destination. It's "here with you" for you to prove and enjoy.

You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist: www.tfccs.com

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