Everybody feels it at sometime or another. You can feel alone in a crowd, with friends, with family
It is one thing to chose to enjoy some quiet, alone time… it is another thing all together when it comes from feeling separated.
I’ve felt it in each of the situations above. I did not always respond to it in a way that revealed wisdom or faith. I did however learn from my shortcomings and I gained the ability to sense it in others and that helps me to encourage and pray for others.
But here I stand at Lonely’s door again. My journey has brought me here… alone. For 52 years I was with my family, Marines, then my spouse. I never lived alone. Never even had my own room. For 33 years I shared a bed.
For the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been alone. At night there’s no one to eat with. No one to share with. Laugh with. Watch TV with. Play cards. Pray with…
And while we widowed people love our family and all our married friends… it gets a little hard some days trying to hang with people who have someone to hold on to. The third wheel mentality is real.
Now I didn’t lose my Jesus, I know I’m never quite alone because the Spirit of God lives in me… but it’s not the same.
And as a believer in pursuit of God’s will it’s hard to find people on the same leg of the journey because I don’t go to bars, don’t care to Christian mingle, am not looking for a roommate. But it’d be sweet to play cards, watch football, worship… without any expectation other than to fill the void of an empty evening in the company of a bunch of people like me
But what I’ve seen as I watch others like myself… is that our worlds get small as I, we, step back and just dance for a moment through other peoples lives… people we love with lives that are full, then we go back to our silence reminded often of what we miss most. Somebody to share the day and life with.
Having had both I can say feeling alone and actually being alone are not anything alike. Even if my family, friends, Lenny… even if we were at odds, my heart was focused on the people around me and repairing the gap. My mind and heart were consumed with fighting, struggling, working through what separated ‘us’.
On nights like this I let the night slide in. Set the alarm and say my prayers uninterrupted… alone and sometimes lonely.
So hold those who rest in your house, beside you tonight because tomorrow it could all change. In the blink of an eye…
Dwell in what you share… not what separates you.
Remember beautiful days gone by. When that girl across the dorm room was your study buddy, listening ear and best friend.
When that young man, that is now so hard to relate to, was your small son.
When that woman lying beside you was your young irresistible bride.
When I lie down tonight I can’t change anything, reach out to anyone but most of you still can.
So do it.
I’m praying for y’all… you’re not alone. Be intentional about making sure you and those you love don’t feel lonely.