Loneliness, a Primal Emotion

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.


About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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10 Responses to Loneliness, a Primal Emotion

  1. Joan says:

    Very nice post, Rose. Still, it did me reflect… I wonder why some people seem to get left out of the Lord’s “it is not good for man to be alone” plan?

    • Joan, you’ve asked a difficult question that I’m sure has more answers than I can imagine. In a perfect world, no one would be lonely . . . but in this imperfect world . . . . Still, our Savior intervenes in many circumstances to rescue people from pain. The best solution to all suffering is to pray and trust our loving God.

      • Joan says:

        Thanks, Rose. And I didn’t mean to put you on the spot like that! It’s just something I’ve wondered about. And the Lord Himself is all we need on the deepest level, where no one else has full access anyway. We do need other people, and sometimes it’s our own choices that put us in a lonely place. But still… I guess we won’t have the answer to painful question as long as we’re living on this earth. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. 🙂

      • Oh to have the answers to life’s difficult questions – this is an ancient problem – I like what you said – the Lord Himself is all we need on the deepest level, where no one else has full acess.” Yes, who knows so completely as God does?

      • Joan says:

        (Oops, that was supposed to say “to every painful question.” 😉 )

  2. Sarah says:

    beautiful Rose…well said.

  3. Sally Bishop says:

    Hello, I popped over after reading about you on Sally Clark’s christwriter.info blog. You have wise words here. I’m sorry for your Aunt and pray she finds comfort and peace.

  4. Even Adam wasn’t exempt from loneliness . . . perhaps because this emotion has a positive side.

  5. Margaret says:

    Beautiful, Rose! Loved the Adam story – never thought about him being lonely in that garden…

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