There is a common malady that a great majority of us suffer from. Not fear although that can easily be a part of this condition. The lack of contact with others or the inability to actually help someone who suffers from loneliness. This malady is so common that the temptation to minister to another person who also suffers from it is a desire. Unfortunately, the easiest and worst approach is commonality.
“Oh, you too! I am so lonely at times as well. I usually draw out an exciting new novel by Reptile Ron and relax with a warm quilt and a cup of decaf. Might work for you too!” Just substitute an exciting and personal story for your lonely feelings, it was recommended by Readers Disgust!
We all have scars of loneliness. A quote from Henri J.M. Nouwen says a controversial thing about these scars. “The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift” a. Nothing will be able to take it away. Vacations to exotic locales, incredible soirees, fame and fortune cannot fill that wound. The ministry to the wounded is done by a wounded person.
The ‘crack’ or visible wound in us is akin to the Grand Canyon. It seems ‘out of place’ and somewhat threatening and dangerous. There is incredible beauty in it as well. A rock climber can overcome fear and descend, roped in and perhaps discovering a precious jewel encased in the hard rock..’
The loneliness Jesus endured up to his seemingly impossible sacrifice is palpable. His best and dearest disciples were asked to stay with Him while He struggled with the biggest and most horrid event of His life. Up in the Mount of Olives was the sweating of blood and the trusted and loved ones were fast asleep. Abandoned and alone. Willing to obey, but knowing the abandonment to come would be the most horrific event in the universe.
It all comes down to the cross, doesn’t it. An old legend in the Jewish Talmud shows us the ministry to come. Rabbi Yoshua asks Elijah when will the Messiah come? Elijah replied, “Go and ask Him yourself” The incredible question of where the Messiah was is answered “sitting at the gates of the city” The Rabbi is told the Messiah is sitting among the poor, covered with wounds. The people unbind all their wounds and then bind them up again. The Messiah unbinds one of His wounds and binds it again. He realizes He will be needed and feels He must be ready with no delay.
His wounds, akin to precious jewels found in the destruction of His canyon, enable the poor in spirit to be healed as He shows us the wounds, unbound “Touch my nail pierced hands, put yours in my wounded side, Give me all your love because I’ve given you all of mine” b. The ultimate loneliness He endured gives him the ability to touch every lonely and wounded heart and bind it together with the wraps of total love.
It’s who we are, we fall asleep in our comfy chairs just when the ministering one tells us to awaken and become a New Life. Abandon the false gods of comfort and a life with peace of mind with no troubles and a life style that promises to be care free. Touch His nail pierced hands, maybe for the first time and feel the embrace that will take that wound of loneliness. Forever. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator
a. Henri Nouwen ‘the wounded healer’ b. Jon Thurlow ‘I just want to know you better’