Lonliness

Loneliness goes with the territory when you have a loss. There are temporary helps, like a good book or a chat with a friend on the phone. Television may or may not help. When it comes down to it, you feel alone. When that happens, I find it a comfort to lean on the Lord. In His Word, I find examples of others who cried out to Him and were comforted.
The Grief Share program encourages us to spend some time in solitude to foster healing. I find I can be content when alone if I direct my thoughts toward God. Scripture is great, as are a number of other things that remind me God is near. Thinking about friends and family, cooking a meal to share, watching birds come to my feeder, and rejoicing on how my body works as I take a walk are some of these.
Henry David Thoreau, a 19th century favorite of mine, wrote about the benefits of solitude in Walden. He especially enjoyed his solitude when outdoors and when working outdoors, asserting that he was then never alone. He even called one chapter Solitude. In the very next chapter, “Visitors,” Thoreau states he is “no hermit” and, could outlast any bar patron and shut the place down if “my business called me thither.”
By necessity, I have to spend plenty of time alone, so I try to connect with people every day. Every human encounter becomes important, even an ordinary transaction at the grocery store or at the doctor. I was having some blood drawn the other day. I praised the nurse for finding the vein quickly and then said, “I always try to be kind to my phlebotomist.” So we shared a chuckle.
My friend Steve loved people. Servers and bartenders were not just servers and bartenders, but fellow human beings and potential friends. He insisted to his younger kinfolk that they be careful to tip decently, even for take-out orders! What an attitude. Let people surprise you, let God surprise you, in the present moment.
God sees you in your aloneness and he cares for you. This is a tremendous encouragement to me, and I hope it will encourage you, too.

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