Belonging to the family of God

A Christian Science perspective: No one has to succumb to the category of 'alone and lonely.'

A teenage boy stood before the congregation of his church and spoke from the heart. He said simply that he wanted a family to adopt him. He had lived all his 15 years in foster homes, and yearned for a family of his own. He wanted to belong (ABC Nightly News, Oct. 17).

Perhaps his earnest plea strikes a chord in all our hearts. To feel alone is a coldness that makes the warmth of family loom large. That’s when acquaintance with the Scriptures can provide a more spiritual view of the universal family of one Father. Consider this strong statement of belonging to God, in Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of a well-loved Bible passage: “Don’t be afraid. I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end” (Isaiah 43:1, 2 “The Message”).

Christ Jesus showed by curing the incurable and conquering death that there are no dead ends in our relationship with eternal, infinite Deity. Following Jesus’ lead, Mary Baker Eddy assures us in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” that the vacuum of loneliness is not a dead end, but a time of development (see p. 266). Gaining an understanding of the ever-presence of God as Father, and man as the sons and daughters of God, made in His likeness, develops a sense of belonging that leads to practical healing solutions.

During a rough patch in my life, I needed a healing solution. Although I’d had a very happy family, that phase was complete. My husband had passed on. Our children were grown and on their own. Even the loved family pets were no longer around. My great need was to dry my tears and broaden my understanding of family. Beginning with man’s inseparable connection to God, I was able to develop a useful and rewarding life that embraced a much larger family. Instead of trying to recapture the past, I’ve been able to bring all I had cherished in my personal family to this new sense of family as a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. This healing ministry has been a vigorous, loving influence in helping others.

It’s natural to yearn for the security of feeling approved, being recognized for individual worth, having the stable anchor of being an important and loved part of a family. Although friends may help, they can’t always fill the void. One can feel lonely in a crowd. But our Father is always reassuring us, “Don’t worry; we’re family. I’ve got your back.”

Practical solutions will differ according to different needs, but no one has to succumb to the category of “alone and lonely.” Wherever we are in our individual spiritual journey, divine Love is there to meet our needs. One of the sweetest promises is as simple as this: “God setteth the solitary in families” (Psalms 68:6).
 

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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