Friday, March 21, 2014

Loving the Lonesome and Being Loved

Loneliness is a recurring theme for many people and for many people in their phase of life right now.
Loneliness, whilst it is real, needn’t conquer us.
Very recently God has pressed into my heart certain names and faces — some really dear friends.  And yet, due to this cyber-world we interact in, some of these people I’ve never physically met, and may never meet face-to-face, but they’re just as important to me as those I actually know physically.  You might not think God’s placed your name or face on my heart but there’s every possibility he has.  The fact is we never know who God’s caused to think of, and pray for, us.
A Presently-Held Lie
We forget this ravenous truth all too easily as our nemesis is apt at telling us to our souls an altogether equally ravenous lie: “No one is thinking of or praying for me.”
So, in believing same, we shut down relationally — although, ironically, our external ‘appearances’ are still radiant in the shop windows of our hearts.  Whilst the deeper we go into the store — into the heart itself — the more we find a forlorn mood and sense the smell of mothballs; a wholesome and resolute sadness attends. 
We then sink into patterns of thinking that reinforce how lonely we feel.
Other people, however, do care about us, and despite this anyway, God does too — and, of course, we know about the latter.  It just doesn’t make a lot of difference right now, does it?  We can’t feel it.
The Prayer of Intercession
I believe the gift of intercession — the Spirit’s placing of pertinent people and issues on a believer’s heart for their prayer — like all gifts — is part of God’s call for every single God-fearer, although many won’t even consciously think about it this way.  It’s simply a loving concern we have for others manifested in our common subliminal communication with God.
Whilst we feel lonely we’d do well to consider that God is so concerned about alleviating our loneliness that he’s placed us on people’s hearts — yes, right now as we read these words together.
Personally, I know there are people who need to hear this.  Why?  It’s because I need it myself, and more often than I’d like.
Loneliness comes in a million-and-one strains; but its effects and consequences are generally the same with us all.  We all need the same therapy — body therapy; even if some of that therapy these days comes through cyberspace.
One Practical Thing to Solve Loneliness in the Moment
This is really quite simple.  All it requires — and this shouldn’t be understated — is the courage to go out and interact with someone — anyone — with intent and conviction; to become part of their lives.
And we should always target someone we think might be even lonelier than we are.
We just simply reach out and love them.  God then warms both hearts as a result.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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