Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Loneliness is poverty

Loneliness is the first thing God identified as not being good. Many since and some more often, but none before.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” –Genesis 2:18

Loneliness is not good. It took God just over a chapter and a half to figure it out. Mother Teresa saw the emptiness and dysfunction of loneliness:

The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.

You agree: Loneliness is poverty.

A crowd is not necessarily company

Loneliness and being alone are two different things altogether. A person can be surrounded by others or sitting next to another and be totally alone. Inches of physical separation feel like miles of isolation. The cruelest form of loneliness is when it is felt in close proximity with a loved one who is no longer communicating.

Solitude is not necessarily loneliness

Loneliness and being alone are two different things altogether. A person can be in solitude and totally embrace who they are in relationship to themselves and others. Miles of physical separation cannot stop emotional intimacy. Loneliness expresses the anguish of being alone and the pain of being unloved. Solitude talks of the place and the time where and when a person becomes restored and refreshed so that they can become healthier for themselves and others.

Walls and bridges

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. Distrust is a wall. Trust is a bridge. Selfishness is a wall. Servanthood is a bridge. The need to be right is a wall. Learning is a bridge. Being stubborn is a wall. Being compassionate is a bridge. Listening to respond is a wall. Listening to understand is a bridge. 

The deer at the water’s edge

A place exists in our heart that can only be filled with God’s love. Nothing else. A person can feel lonely in the presence of their newest friend, their oldest friend, strangers, loved ones, whoever. Finally, loneliness is more or less an awareness that something is missing in our hearts that takes more than people to fill. 

The Psalmist knew this:

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2)

In the end, it is God we are longing and thirsting for. Augustine puts it best:

You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in You. 

The best is yet to come…


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