Divine distancing isn’t possible!

If we’re feeling the pull of loneliness during these times of isolation and quarantine, it’s worth considering what God’s biblical promise, “I will not leave thee,” can mean for us today.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Lately, most people’s day includes physical distancing, isolation, even quarantine. There’s an understandable concern that this can lead to mental darkness, such as intense loneliness. But this doesn’t have to be the case, especially if we understand there’s always one tangible presence close at hand.

Toward the very beginning of the Bible, there’s a very encouraging promise God made to Jacob that truly applies to us all: “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest ... for I will not leave thee” (Genesis 28:15).

Contrary to how it may sometimes seem, time spent alone can be a time in which we feel anything but lonely. When we glimpse how God never, ever leaves us, we can start to feel quite connected with God and centered in Divinity’s pure goodness. It’s actually impossible to distance oneself from our divine source. God is always fully present. To begin to acknowledge this, even just a little bit, makes us feel so much less alone.

A friend of mine just returned from working several months in Antarctica. She had very little contact with the outside world. When I asked her, “What inspired and comforted you when you felt isolated?” she cited a line from Hymn 278 in the “Christian Science Hymnal”: “Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee” (P.M., adapt. © CSBD). It helped her realize that, as she put it: “I didn’t have to be in my home in North America to feel loved, connected, comforted, or safe. Wherever I was, God’s love and the home God gives me were already there.”

Recognizing this spiritual reality gave her “purpose each day, while also providing comfort and a sense of God’s abiding love.”

Christian Science reveals that God, who is divine Spirit, creates and consciously maintains each of us – not as mortals, but as immortal, spiritual individuals, safe in God. Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy explains in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Infinite space is peopled with God’s ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms” (p. 503).

It is such a joy to learn that it is in this oneness with divine Spirit that we actually reside. As Spirit’s ideas, we are without isolation, infection, or insufficiency, since these traits could never be in the divine source that we reflect. It’s beautiful and powerful to glimpse how the essence of Spirit is expressed in us, as God’s creation. We each exist to show forth God’s love, wholeness, intelligence, purity, joy, whether in person, online, or simply in the solitude of quiet communion with God. Since these divine qualities are present and active in us, we can’t be the least bit separated from their divine source.

I’ve also been inspired to realize that as the ideas, the spiritual offspring, of Spirit, we are always with one another spiritually. Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way: “Where God is we can meet, and where God is we can never part” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 131).

Yes, there is no parting from God’s love, companionship, or endless goodness. A desire to open our eyes to the holy fact that we cannot be distanced from God, good, is deep and comforting prayer. Now (and anytime!) is a time we can let divine Love bring a more solid awareness of how, even when we are physically isolated from others, we are in perfect unity with God, who brings healing comfort and companionship.

Editor’s note: As a public service, all the Monitor's coronavirus coverage is free, including articles from this column. There's also a special, free section of JSH-Online on a healing response to the coronavirus. No paywall for any of this coverage.

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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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