There is probably not in the world a soul that is absolutely free from the longing for human sympathy, while in some the desire for it rises at times to passionate intensity. Certainly Emerson's dictum, "Men descend to meet," contains a profound truth, and it is undeniable that great minds have, in all ages, learned the meaning and use of Solitude. Nevertheless, although, to a soul alive with the consciousness of its divine possibilities, human intercourse must always be on a lower level than Communion with the Infinite, there is little danger that such a soul should overlook the value of the former for long.
We have all doubtless known times in our lives when the grasp of a hand, the flash of an eye or the word of sympathy has had power to strengthen tenfold the armor of our souls; and at such times we are driven to the conclusion that these potent influences are in reality manifestations of the Divine to us, that they have their origin in the Invisible World. Indeed a conviction is born in us that the whole visible world, to a mind enlightened by the Spirit of Truth, is the clearest and most effectual channel of revelation.
Hence we discover gradually that, by daily fulfilling those claims made on us by our environment, we rise, according as we are faithful, to a fuller, wider, juster knowledge of the world at large.
The Great Teacher, however, clearly emphasized the fact that human sympathy is not to be relied on implicitly. Again and again He withdrew into the lofty pure air of the mountains, where being alone, yet not alone, He gathered strength and sweetness that He might afterwards expend them on others. From Him we learn that, whilst strength is best gathered in moments of contemplation, its possession entails obligation to expend it in the conflicts of daily life.
Look up then, lonely soul, who art cast down because the world seems cold; in whom l the longing for human sympathy has become so strong that it has obscured the value of Divine Communion. Seek first to ally thy soul to the great Source of Strength, and then, in thine own environment, there shalt thou find the best and only medicine for thy lonely heart.
"Wherever man is," said Seneca, "there is room for doing good." See then that thou passeth not by the opportunities of service that lie all around thee, and ever remember that the heart which has learnt for itself the secret of peace must infallibly find others to share that secret, or it will learn to its sorrow that the sweet discovery is not of lasting worth.
In blessing others, thou thyself shalt surely be most abundantly blessed.