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  • Writer's picturePatty

Soothing the Ache of Loneliness

Read: Romans 8:20-23; Revelation 21:1-6; Mark 15:33-34


I have heard it said that we can't do everything but that we all can do something. Is that merely a cliche? If we can each do something, what might that thing look like? What if we have read about the incredible exploits done by those who serve in amazing ways all over the world; yet what if we don't seem to be equipped by God to fit into that beautiful mold? Then where does that leave us? There are myriads of answers to those questions, but may I suggest one thing that we might do? An action that won't require special skills or training. We can sooth the ache of loneliness in someone's life.


The hard thing about loneliness is that each of us all too often has experienced it, but that is also the good thing about it. Why? Because having experienced the ache of it, we can understand a bit of what another sufferer might be going through. Because we understand, we are equipped to reach out with compassion. Loneliness doesn't discriminate. It makes its appearance in the lives of the very young and the elderly. More about that later. One thing is sure. Loneliness lurks wherever people are. It can make an appearance in a crowd where people are surrounded by well-dressed folks or in the lunch line at school.


This week, I learned about two incidents where loneliness was soothed. One person who was comforted was very young and the other was elderly. I love both of these stories because the beauty of simple kindness is seen. We are often so ravaged by the sharp words and harsh actions we see. How good it was to see uplifting actions. The kind that any of us might be able to do.


In Texas, Willa Fitzgerald was turning five years old. Her mom planned a birthday party at a local burger place. Little Willa had been counting the days leading up to her big day. The invitations had been sent out by her mother. About a third said they would come. Even so, when the big day came, Willa and her mother were sitting alone after twenty minutes. I don't know what the little girl was feeling at that age, but Willa's mom was beginning to hurt and wonder what might happen if no one eventually came. How would that affect her daughter. It as then that she had an idea borne out of that wonder. She put out a call on her Instagram, telling those who read of their dilemma. She invited anyone with little kids to come and celebrate with them. The result? The restaurant was full of parents with children. There were even lots of presents. What a joy for this mom and little girl to have this celebration. Impromptu as it was. Can you imagine how lonely this mom and child might have been if the day that was so anticipated had ended with no one who would come and share it? Loneliness squashed by people who simply came to have fun with the Fitzgeralds.


Also this week, a friend of mine was visiting relatives at a care center when she heard a cry from the lady across the hall. My friend hurried to see what was the matter. The woman had a very simple need; however, since she was unable to meet that need, she was distressed. What she was going through wasn't simple to her. There was something she couldn't do, and she needed a bit of help. Later on, that same lady called out again. This time, she was having pain and asked my friend to pray with her. Again, it was a simple act, but it meant a great deal to this precious elderly woman who told my friend what a difference she had made. She experienced the soothing comfort of someone who listened, prayed and cared. Loneliness comes when there is a need and no one to intervene. Yes, I know that there will never be someone always at the ready when there is a hurt; even so, what if we meet the needs that God places right in our path each day. Not trying to be all things to all people but simply soothing the aches of loneliness where we can.


Let's turn a corner and talk about the Lord. He is the One Who will ultimately put an end to loneliness completely. Can we imagine a world so filled with His presence, love, joy, and beauty that loneliness is banished? So, when we comfort people who are lonely, we are reaching out with a foretaste of what is to come. We are demonstrating for them what God holds out to them in His Kingdom. A place without tears or pain, Revelation 21:1-6, Romans 8:20-23.


Let's glimpse another wonderful thing about the Lord Jesus Christ. Because He loved us, He endured the ultimate loneliness. He was forsaken by His Father when He took upon Himself, the wrath we deserved, Mark 15:33-34. No wonder darkness covered the whole land. Jesus experienced, during those hours, a kind of loneliness we can't even fathom. Why would Jesus willingly experience such a terrible ordeal? It was so that we would never have to experience the horrible loneliness of hell. He didn't want us to be separated from Him. Instead, He wants each one to know that He paid the price for their sins, 1 John 2:2. He did this because of His unfathomable love for us. He took our place and bore this unspeakable pain so we could have unspeakable joy, Psalm 16:11.


With the Holy Spirit's enabling, let's tell someone about the God Who took our place and the day that is coming when loneliness will be a thing of the past!




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