A Christian Science perspective.
I have this crazy/wonderful, inspired idea. Everyone I encounter is my Soul-mate. Not in the lowercase “s” sense of the term, which involves doing laundry together and sharing catbox cleaning duties and taking long walks in the park on a Sunday afternoon. No, I am talking about the big “S” Soul, or God. Soul is a word used in Christian Science to describe God as the source of all beauty, individuality, and goodness. The Bible points to the beauty of the Lord our God upon us, which establishes good in our lives. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Soul is synonymous with Spirit, God, the creative, governing, infinite Principle outside of finite form, which forms only reflect” (p. 71). She also explained, “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul” (p. 60).
Since God, Soul, is the source of all beauty, blessing, and happiness in my life, I can look at everyone around me as my Soul-mate and worthy of my love, attention, appreciation, respect, forgiveness, and whatever else I can possibly express of genuine goodness. However long the contact may be, I have something to give and to receive from the ones whom Soul, God, has put in my path. Guy who pumps my gas? Yup. My Soul-mate. Lady in the checkout line with the amazing braids in her hair? That’s her. My Soul-mate. Do I claim them as mine personally? No. They belong completely to God. But for the moments of our encounter, we are a gift to each other as the reflected love and light of Soul, divinely designed to share the best of who we are and of what we reflect of God through spirituality, goodness, and love.
I was appreciating this idea of my Soul-mate on a small commuter flight that was puddle-jumping between Seattle and a small town in western Washington State. The tiny plane was almost full, except for one little window seat next to me. The last person to board the flight was a rather portly gentleman who seemed quite self-conscious about his size in such a small space. As he came down the aisle searching out his seat number, I could practically feel his thought. “Oh, no, I have to squeeze into that little seat next to her!” But me? I was focused on thinking, “Well look-y here! Here comes my Soul-mate!” And with my best and brightest smile, I flipped up the armrest between our two seats, slid over against the window and said, “Please join me. There is plenty of room!” He slipped carefully into the seat, making every effort to pull himself in and take up as little room as possible.
Then the conversation began.
You would have thought we were best friends. We started talking and sharing as if we had known each other all our lives. Within a few moments, I saw him relax into his seat and spread out a bit, as he saw that I wasn’t bothered by his close proximity. We were the only two on the packed plane engaging in conversation, but we didn’t care. We laughed and shared stories, each genuinely enjoying the other one’s company.
He was to get off the plane one puddle stop before mine. As he rose to leave, I watched him open up like a big beautiful sunflower. Shoulders back, chest out, standing tall and no longer trying to shrink into invisibility, he turned to me and said, “This is the best flight I have ever taken in my life. Thank you.” And off went my lovely Soul-mate down the aisle.
I wasn’t sad to see him go because I knew that Soul, God, would always place a Soul-mate in my path. What we shared was a momentary, special encounter. But the friendship and laughter and genuine interest and kindness exchanged have stayed to bless me ever since.
Every contact with one of God’s children is a meeting with a Soul-mate. If you have been looking far and wide for the “one,” look to your right or left at the one the divine One has put next to you. There is someone precious waiting for you right there.
Originally published as a blog on the author’s website.
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