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Archive for July 11th, 2019

It can creep into our day when we are walking down a crowded street, in the sanctuary, in the middle of the party people or when we are alone with the dark and twisties.

Loneliness is as common a human experience as death and taxes and can occur in the life of anyone, under any circumstances. Whether we are young or old, rich or poor, a scholar or a drop out, married or single or divorced or widowed … loneliness comes to us all.

It is a feeling as well as a response to internal and external circumstances, perceptions and experiences.

There are those times when loneliness can feel like the most inhospitable, horrible thing to experience. For some it can override anything good in one’s life.

For the follower of Christ we can know in our minds that we are not alone (“… remember that I am always with you until the end of time” Matthew 28:20), but sometimes our heart feels things quite differently.

There must be a reason that within our hearts is the capacity to feel so alone, even while we are never alone or apart from our Creator. There are two perspectives that I think could explain our human experience of loneliness.

Scott Sauls (author of ‘befriend’), writes, of loneliness:

“We aren’t lonely because something is wrong with us. We are lonely because something is right with us. Our loneliness is the image of our triune, communal God in us, beckoning us to connect, to know and to be known, to love and to be loved, to befriend and to be befriended.”

In a way he would seem to be saying that our loneliness is the tap on our shoulder, the whisper in our ear to be His hands and feet, to look around and rectify the loneliness of ourselves and those around us. It is the reminder that we need and desire community … that we were created for community, and if the desire is there, so is the wherewithal to seek and find it.

C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

In relation to human loneliness (something so common in our secular post-fall world), what Lewis is saying is that we were never created to be, to feel lonely. We were created for a world where all of our needs are met, because our relationships with God and with each other would be without the stain of sin on our lives.

Loneliness, though commonplace in all of our lives, can be the necessary prompt to seek community. It can also remind us that this is not our home, but one is being prepared for us … that where he is we will one day be as well.

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