Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Got Friends? Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Got Friends? Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

When I was single and living in New York City, I felt intensely lonely. During the day I'd have the camaraderie of my co-workers. But more often than not, I'd spend evenings and most weekends alone. I might as well have been living on Mars!

After several months, I began to seriously pray about this problem.

I considered at length that I was God's beloved, His daughter. As the very object of God's affection, I could not be denied anything so precious as friendship, which is a normal and natural part of living. I also thought about the motivation for everything I did being love.

I read something written by Mary Baker Eddy (who founded Christian Science and also this newspaper) in a book called "Miscellaneous Writings." It asks if we might have a friend whom we've forgotten to be grateful for (see pg. 339). That made me sit up and take notice.

I thought long and hard about someone whose friendship I could nurture. I was not sure how it could relate to my situation. Working as a temporary office assistant during the day, I had little chance to make friends. Sometimes I'd work at two or three different companies within one week. The people I met kind of became a blur. I often felt like I was on the outside looking in.

Then I had a flash! I remembered bolting out of an adult education class one evening in an effort to catch my bus (even though I really wasn't in any hurry to return to my apartment). Truth is, I just felt too shy to strike up a conversation with any of my classmates. A few blocks along, I realized someone was following me.

"Hello," a young woman had called out, trying to catch up with me. "I've seen you a few times in class. I've wanted to say Hi, but you always seemed to be in such a hurry."

Well, I thought of that dear person now, and my eyes began to fill with tears. Frankly, I was amazed she had gone to the trouble of trying to meet me, as I had probably appeared so standoffish. So SHE was the friend I decided to be grateful for. …

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