Tough Questions With Answers
From Responses To Our Daily Devotional and Virtual Church Sermons
What about loneliness?
Those of us who live with difficulty usually live with loneliness. The issue of loneliness is a grinding and hurtful experience. All of us know about it. It is ironic that loneliness and the pain it brings may be the most common pain there is. We all think we are the only ones who are lonely and most other people think they are the only ones who are lonely. When the facts are laid out, we are just as lonely as they are and they are just a lonely as we are. Loneliness affects us all.
Recently I heard a man talk about meeting Elvis Presley. If there was anyone in the world who you would think would not be lonely it would be Elvis. The man relayed in his recounting of meeting Elvis that Elvis was in a hotel room, alone, with tin foil over the windows, no light was on, and in a fit of anger, Elvis had shot a hole in his television set. A little funny, perhaps, but also tragically sad. Being adored by millions is no answer to the cancer of our souls. If we dig into Elvis life, we find a man who was in excruciating pain. Perhaps this excruciating loneliness was what drove Elvis to end his life too soon.
Loneliness is indeed a cancer of the soul. It eats away at our soul and tears at our heart. There are hard answers to dealing with it but no easy answers. There are hard-to-do solutions but no easy solutions. All of us have felt it. Most of us live with it constantly. Sharing your living space is not always the answer because sharing living space can increase the pain if the person we are with cuts us off, finds fault, or is not compatible with us. There is no person who has ever walked the earth who has not felt this aloneness. Jesus, the night before He went to the Cross, asked his followers, "Could you have not stayed with me one hour?" On the Cross, Jesus was abandoned. Only two women and one boy (John) were with Him as He died. What can we do with loneliness? What can we do about it? How do monks who cut themselves off voluntarily stand it?
One thing we must realize is that our being alone is not Gods will for us. He came into the world to show us He loves us and cares about us. He sent back a part of Himself (the Holy Spirit) to be with us and comfort us when we hit these dark moments. We have the tendency to blame our situations. We are each in some kind of situation and we blame the situation for our being alone or lonely. We must try not to do this. When we point fingers, make excuses, whine, or complain (even though we have a lot to complain about) we point our thinking, our hearts, and our souls in the wrong direction. Although we do not mean to do it, we point our lives in a backward direction when we whine, complain, and make excuses. When we are always forward thinking, that is, thinking about tomorrow rather than the last few seconds or even our present pain, we leave the pain in the past. One way we can deal with our loneliness is by finding a consuming passion of service to others. Another way we can deal with our loneliness is to find others like ourselves. We need to find people who understand our particular situations and where we are in our lives. The internet is a wonderful resource for finding others but the internet also has its disadvantages. If we need to find others who face the same situations we do we might try and form a local group within our own locality. For those of us who have disabilities or burdens we need to try and meet with others with whom we have something in common if meeting others is what we need.
There is however, one vital ingredient in all this talk. This ingredient is giving to God. This is hard to do for us. When we are lacking and hurting how can we give to God? How can we give when we are in poverty ourselves? One way we can do this is to unselfishly love others on Gods behalf. A lot of people believe there is a God but they dont think He has any contact with them. God may want us to "take advantage" of our burdens and difficulties by showing others that God in Christ is alive and is a real person. I hope one of the outcomes of this list is that people in pain will find the pain can be "used." I hope that even when you hurt, you can give the darkness a mortal blow by being a light to others around you. I have written extensively about how we can do this in our lives.
I have not begun to speak about this issue. For there are so many fundamental things we can do like adopting a life goal, telling God how much we love Him, taking a respite by exhausting ourselves to try and rescue another, and so on.
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Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through
ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN