I visited an elderly aunt in a nursing home. Her once active life came to a sudden stop when she broke a hip and could no longer live alone. Until recently, her home buzzed with activity. On summer vacations, relatives seemed to sleep in every available corner. Pies travelled magically from her kitchen to the big farm table. She drove at high speeds on gravel roads, dust billowing behind her, to community commitments, social visits and church.
When I asked if she still quilts and does needlework, she said, “I don’t really have an interest any more.”
I sensed loneliness in her words. Even though her friendship list is still longer than most and all of her six children and many relatives visit regularly, the feeling of aloneness is present. I wonder to myself if this is the first time she’s experienced loneliness. But, no, I’m sure it isn’t. She was widowed twice and lost her third sweetheart not many years ago.
Auntie, as active as she was, as outgoing and friendly as she is, as giving and thoughtful as she is, still experiences loneliness. The lonely can be comforted but no one has the power to eradicate lonliness from the planet.
Is loneliness in our DNA? Since I’m not an expert on the subject, I won’t say definitely yes, but a definite maybe. God observed that Adam was lonely and gave him Eve as a lover and life companion. Adam had everything a man could want materially. God Himself was his special and only Friend. Still, Adam was lonely.
Adam’s plight tells us somethng marvellous about God. He wasn’t offended that His friendship alone wasn’t enough for Adam. He felt compassion for him, and created a perfect life companion for him, Eve. We read in Genesis how delighted Adam was when he saw Eve for the first time. The Bible doesn’t record it, but I’m sure in his later years, Adam again experienced loneliness. Because loneliness isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime phase.
Loneliness knocks on everyone’s door. Perhaps it’s sitting in your living room right now, too close for comfort. If a flesh and blood friend can cure your loneliness, pray that God will send that person. If, like my aunt, all the visits in the world won’t cure that sense of aloneness, commit the lonely feelings to the Lord and receive comfort from Him.
After all is said and done, the Lord is the only companion who sticks with us all through life and even through death.
Auntie pointed to her wheelchair. “The Lord is with me in spite of all this. That’s one thing I know for sure.”
I am persuaded beyond doubt that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As severe as loneliness can become, it doesn’t have the power to separate us from our God.