Monday, June 6, 2011


Speaking of obstacles. Speaking of trials.

What about loneliness? This humble little problem can have devastating consequences and for good reason:  we are made for relationship, I am convinced of it. In fact it is written in the beginning of Genesis that God said: "it is not good for man to dwell alone..." 

When I am gripped by loneliness I have learned to take stock. That is actually a little bit relational because that's when I talk to myself (after all God is in relationship with Himself and aren't we made in His image?). 

First of all I have learned that I tend to feel lonely when I long for something or someone. At times I long for something entirely unreal, seriously, I have been lonely when finishing a good book! The first time I ever read through Genesis I actually missed all those folks in there (can you believe it?) but then realized with joy I could read it as often as I liked! 

So rather than focus on what I miss, I take stock of what it is my life. One other person is a treasure. Most of us know more than one person. There are many levels of relationship ranging from the store clerk to our nearest and dearest. I have learned to value them all.

Secondly moments of loneliness, like suspended animation, have a timeless quality to them and tend to bring me face to face with the eternal. (By the way did you know that in the French Bible the Lord is called the Eternal?) Such alone moments have a way of causing the roots of my faith to sink deeper in dependance on Him (because I can't figure out very much about life and even less about the future so I have to trust Him); that in turn tends to sift out any over-dependance on the opinions of others (you know, those others I needed so much a bit earlier, love that paradox). 

So I think of those lonely moments as an oil change: a bit unsettling but periodically needed, ultimately healthy and very restful.

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