"God sets the solitary in families;" (Psalm 68:6 to 1st semi-colon; New King James Bible).
My husband and I have been retired for a few years, but we don't sit at home much. We go out and do things that keep us feeling that we're still in the main stream of society. We sometimes go to the mall to walk, often meeting people we know. We've found many inexpensive lunches at restaurants around town, joining the noon-day crowd of workers and other retirees. We do flea markets, garage sales, visits to our children and grand-children, trivial pursuit nights, some volunteer activities…just about everything we can think of for socialization and entertainment.
We do these things because we want to stay connected to the rest of the world…for as many have found, it is easy to feel disconnected, if we withdraw from society after our normal working careers are over. To feel still-connected to people on a daily basis, many retirees go back to work in their later years; but there is a certain time-loss of freedom that comes with going back to work. So, we stay out of the greater work force.
Yesterday, my husband and I were eating lunch in a popular restaurant, when a strange sense of loneliness came upon me. As I was looking around the room, I observed that everyone was conversing at their own, individual tables, including us. So, in many ways my husband and I were still alone with each other. I could easily see why people often feel lonely in crowds. Despite our efforts, we didn't really seem connected to the main stream, after all.
With this thought, the empty feeling that gripped me made me wonder, how can our spiritual oneness with others exist in a public place, where everyone is in little groups, just recognizing their own friends or relatives and disconnected from everyone else around them?
Suddenly, as I was caught up in this dark thought, I moved my arm and tipped over my full glass of soda and ice. It flew across the table, dumping every drop of liquid on both table and floor.
Before my husband and I could grab what few napkins we had to stop the flow, the family at the table next to us, (mom, pop, and little girl) grabbed their napkins, jumped up, and started to sop it up off the floor. Then, the people at the table on the other side of us also arose to catch what had spilled on that side of the dripping-wet table. Next, two women sitting across from us said they had more napkins, so not to worry. Everyone was laughing and reassuring me that I'd done nothing unusual…it had happened to all of them at some time or another. They all seemed to agree on that!
Also, as this was occurring, a young male waiter brought me another soda, as if nothing had happened…just as though I hadn't made a big mess! And, just as suddenly as that sense of loneliness had come upon me, I felt it falling away in the presence of the love that had just enveloped me.
Then I had a 'Eureka' moment as I became aware of all the good will and affection that had been invisibly present in that place, all along. I was particularly cognizant of the fact that the people around us, though appearing to be in their private conversations, HAD been aware of everyone else around them. They had individually moved so quickly to come to my aid, and I was a stranger to all of them! The spirit of love that lived within all those who came forward in my embarrassing moment would have come to the aid of anyone who needed it.
Now, someone might say that my spill was just a coincidence. But I think it was divine Spirit, showing me that we are never alone—not in a crowded public place, and not even when we are sitting alone in our homes. Our loving connection with all humanity comes when it is needed. It comes because we are ALL connected in our spiritual family of God, and there is a caring for strangers, within the deepest core of each of us, which is just as powerful as our caring for members of our own social spheres. When my husband and I left the restaurant, everyone around us smiled and said goodbye. Some even waved to us from the window.
My spirits soared, as I realized that our shared, infinite connection exists with everyone and everything in God's spiritual creation. We may not see this connection with our physical eyes, but that does not mean it isn't present with us. Most things spiritual and ever-lasting must be perceived from within our greater self, our Christ-Consciousness—not with our limited, physical senses. Deep inside, I knew this; but I hadn't remembered it when that negative thinking was suggesting to me that we live in a material environment, disconnected from God and all creation. Yet, this had just proved to be wrong: my husband and I had just experienced the loving Kingdom of God at hand.
We don't always have to experience chaotic accidents or misfortunes to find the center of our connectedness. Often, accessing our universal connection comes forth when we, ourselves, reach out in love to others in some way. The effects of my episode have shown me not to be so silent in public anymore. I can reach out more to strangers, if only to say 'hello' to let people know that I'm aware of their presence and value to the universe.
Sometimes the connection should be made with someone who dislikes us, or with someone whom we humanly believe we dislike. The poet, Edwin Markham, expressed this way of connection in his poem, "Outwitted" (which I believe was first published in the late 1800's, but I couldn't find the exact date):
Markham's poem shows that the universal circle of love in God's spiritual creation includes everyone; and anyone can activate it by expressing love. No estrangements exist in the ever-present Kingdom of God. Spirit's off-spring, when fully awakened to spiritual reality, do not feud, fight, hate, exclude, or even try to harm their spiritual brethren. Awakened thought, (always dwelling within the innate Christ Consciousness of each of us) knows too much spiritual truth to be destructive in any way.
There is a story written in the Bible that shows what I mean—that even our human family connections have a more perfect, and permanent, reality in God's universal Family. In the biblical Chapter 33 of Genesis, the story is told of how Jacob and Esau (the brother whom Jacob had robbed of his birthright) found their true connection, despite their human conflict over supply, and what belonged to whom:
For those unfamiliar with this story, here's a quick summary: it is about one brother, Jacob, who, through trickery, stole his elder brother, Esau's, birthright. Esau was so angry that he immediately went out to kill Jacob. With his mother's help, Jacob fled and was in exile with his mother's people for many years. One day, God spoke to Jacob and told him to go back and reconcile with Esau. Frightened, Jacob 'wrestled with an angel' and finally obeyed God's directive. Yet, instead of Esau hating his brother for the earlier theft, Esau met him with love, to which Jacob said to Esau, "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me." (Genesis 33:10, King James Bible). (The whole story about Jacob and Esau's estrangement begins in Chapter 25 of the Book of Genesis, and finishes in Chapter 33).
This story illustrates the permanent nature of the spiritual connection that exists within God's Family. Human families are often filled with conflict and disconnections. Yet, in the higher, universal family of God, no such disconnections have ever, really, occurred. Underneath the false, material view of creation, Spirit's eternal harmony reigns supreme; and God's divine children still love each other eternally.
Knowing this, we, like Jacob, have only to approach, with love, a so-called enemy, and remember who he or she really is: our spiritual brother or sister, with whom we have no real conflicts, no differences. Conflicts do not exist in the divine realm because God's, (Spirit's) resources are eternal, and no lack of any good thing can exist. Spirit has infinite resources, and God says to each of us, "…Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." (Luke 15: 31, King James Version)
With infinite spiritual resources, all creation is eternal. Yet, a transformation of identity, (from the belief of oneself as a fleshly, mortal creature to our awakening to our everlasting, spiritual identity) must take place in individual consciousness before we fully realize the truth of our eternal connection to all. It is not erroneous, physical humanity that is at the heart of our ever-lasting connection with all creation; our connection originates in our true, spiritual identity (the Christ identity of each of us, who is the real image and likeness of God).
Spirit's creation is not the manifestations of material form. Christ Jesus stated, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4: 24, King James Bible). And of divine Spirit, the Bible also states that, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being;" (Acts 17: 28 to 1st semicolon, King James Bible).
These biblical references show that we live, and move, and have our being in the spiritual Intelligence we call God. God is our Source of all good, including the spiritual (not material) substance of each identity's body, soul, and mind. We live within the divine Creator's consciousness; that is, the divine Intelligence that created our identities in the first place. The Creator is, and never has been, separated from Its own creation! This is what Jesus came into the human dream of life in matter to bring to our eternal remembrance.
Just as we are 'creators' of our own artistic endeavors, so is the divine Intelligence the creator of Its own ideas and identities. Did the substance of a poem ever exist outside of the mentality of the writer who created it? Did a masterpiece of Rembrandt ever exist before the artist conceived it? No. Only a creator gives his or her 'creation' life, and all its characteristics.
Just so, God, Spirit's creation never left that Intelligence that created it. It always exists in the divine Mind of God. Every identity in the universe has it's life and source in God—and that is where the connection really lies, for all of us, living, and moving, in the realm of Spirit…Spirit's knowing connects us to each other.
We exist as long as God knows we exist. God loves every thing and every one It has created. In fact, divine Love is that Law of our eternal, spiritual existence in Spirit. But like creates like. Spirit creates only spiritual identities, which do not perish at any time, on any level of thought we may dwell upon.
So, what am I saying? I'm saying that we are each a God-created identity, spiritual in substance, life and being. We love each other, because God has made it so. Deep within our true, awakened spiritual consciousness, we are all connected to the same Source. This is the ultimate connection of every one on this planet, and throughout the universe of Spirit's creating.
The material manifestation of God's universe is a temporary counterfeit. It is the false belief in the Adam dream of mortality and the false belief of separation from God, our spiritual, everlasting Source.
The underlying truth of our spiritual, rather than material, being connects us to each other in ways we can only imagine. But our connection exists because we are still in Spirit's kingdom, and we have, within our own being, the holiness of Spirit.
Even as we go about our daily lives, believing that we are mortals in a material universe, each with a separate, physical identity, entombed in a body separated from all others, taking care of ourselves because we erroneously believe that God isn't here to bring Its love to bear on our human experiences…even then, we are still invisibly connected to our true family in Spirit. For, in moments of someone else's extremity, the connection activates and our hidden love for our distressed brethren comes pouring out. God has made us so.