Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Isolation is an inherited reality. It is something that kind of falls in our laps the moment we are born. This isolation stems from both perception and experience. If our parents have perceived rejection and hatred, they are more likely to keep away from groups of people. And so, the ideal of absolute self-reliance is born. Many people work so hard to get to this point; few relationships -- many superficial connections but very few intimate ones. By few, I generally mean the spouse and sibling. That is the extent of intimacy that a person experiences.
Community is where two or more are gathered, right? Yet community is not a matter of how many people are gathered. If it were a matter of numbers, the large number of cases of depression and loneliness would not be so.
Another truth that many run away from is the loneliness that they feel. We react to that emptiness that makes itself known in the chest area. We long for something to fill that loneliness. How hard it is to sit with it? Yet, what if that loneliness was to propel us into Love? What if that is God's gift to us -- an invitation -- to come to Him when that loneliness threatens to turn into that bottomless pit of despair?
There is such powerlessness in coming to God in prayer and saying, "Man, I'm so freaking lonely right now!" Yup. Just like that, "Man!" Sometimes I call Him Abba -- other times I use Dude, yet other times I cry out Father. He listens.
He knows us when we are hurting, lonely, despairing and in those times He continues to love us into being. We cannot love ourselves into being. I've tried it, and I failed. I once tried an experiment. I called it the "Take Care of Yourself" experiment. I shut out the external world and I did everything possible to "take care of myself." I forgot one very important component -- God was very small at the time. I thought I could chase God and kinda use Him when I needed Him. Yet, He was there. I was running around trying to find Him. But He found me.
Our loneliness is so deeply personal to us. There is nothing anyone can say or do to take away our loneliness. Yet, articulating it makes all the difference in the world. How hard it is to say the words, "I am so lonely right now!" How hard it is to say that.
Honestly, it is so much easier to react to this emptiness and lose ourselves in other habits or behaviors -- pornography, disordered sexual behavior, disordered friendships that create co-dependence, ultimately behaviors that further take away our freedom and deepen this emptiness.
In our moments of loneliness, let us bring that to the Lord and simply cry out, "Abba! I need You! I am so lonely right now!" Let us sit and acknowledge His presence and allow our Loving God to gaze at us. Let Him Love you into being.In times when you feel extremely lonely, do you go to God with it, or do you seek out alternatives? How does prayer and turning to God fill your loneliness?