It is astounding how many people suffer from the silent affliction of loneliness.
It brings shame, as the lonely often feel there is something about them that is undesirable and unworthy of natural human attention.
It brings fear, because the lonely wonder how will they cope in an emergency, or at a season like Christmas.
It brings guilt, because introverted people and those suffering from social anxiety feel it’s partly their fault; as they favour their own company and detest parties and crowds. They feel they have pushed people away by their natural inclinations.
It brings depression, because they cannot readily share a joke, a recipe, a funny film, an anxious moment, a complaint or even a prayer.
There are literally thousands, if not millions of incognito WordPress bloggers who regularly post about loneliness and how isolated they feel, even in company.
As I read each post, and I’m nowhere near a tenth of one per-cent of them all, I am conscious that we live in a world full of quiet tears. My heart goes out to them all because I know God wants to comfort them and whisper into their ear:
“It’s okay, I’m here. I understand, I saw, I know and I love you. I will never let you down and I will never, ever leave you. I will never criticise you nor laugh at you. You interest me because I made you. You can find a friend in me and I can find you friends who will walk beside you in this difficult journey of life.”
We all know that social media is not the answer. When by method of text on a computer screen, an acquaintance asks a lonely person how they are feeling, they can’t detect:
the shakiness in their voice,
the darting eyes,
the quiver of the lip,
the sound of deep breath from the lungs,
the rising chest that comes down too slowly,
the nervous twirl of the hair,
the ringing of hands,
the twisting of ankles,
the desperation in their tone,
the glistening of water around the pupils.
And as we lead such busy, distracted lives, would we even care if we discerned the emptiness in someone’s soul? Are we too lazy to help or does it hit too deep a nerve because we are feeling that way too?
Or are we too busy trying to portray a full, exciting, happy life to others – others whose opinions of us doesn’t really matter anyway?
I am so grateful that I know Jesus as my best friend. I know I can go to him at any time with any concern and he will always be there to comfort me. I know I can cry as often as I want and he won’t grit his teeth and roll his eyes.
No problem is too silly, no concern too insignificant. Just being in his presence without saying anything is healing enough for me to carry on my day. But he often speaks through he word (the bible) and to my spirit. Many times it’s just spoken peace, spoken calm, spoken hope. His spirit communicating with mine, assuring me he is very present and very much my dependable companion.
Oh, how I would love for you all to know him as your comforter! In a world of loneliness where people are penning sad poems and crying into their pillow, Jesus is needed like never before.
It is hard for me to remain silent when I know I’ve got something that other people desperately need. They may not believe it nor want it, but it’s their path to joy.
If even it is unfamiliar to you to talk to a God you don’t believe is there, try it. Turn to him and he’ll run to you.
Some of you do believe in God and have given him your heart, but you shy away from church services because they freak you out or make you feel more lonely and lost. God understands. Ask him to find you special friends to whom you can relate to and he will.
Life is hard. Being lonely and depressed makes it even harder. Let Jesus be your closest friend and everything will be far more bearable.