There a many Christ-followers who can identify with the song of the famous country singer/songwriter Hank Williams, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Loneliness continues to be one of the leading reasons of pain and sorrow in people’s lives today. Thomas Wolfe wrote — “Loneliness is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.” Loneliness hurts. Loneliness has many causes, but the majority of people experience loneliness after someone they loved is no longer with them. This could be the consequence of having experienced the death of a spouse, or the pain of divorce. But make no mistake, loneliness is painful.
Who knows, it may even save their life!
You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. Yet, you can be totally alone, and not experience loneliness. What makes the difference in these two statements? No matter what you’re experiencing in your life’s journey having confident assurance that the Lord God is present with you makes all the difference. Jesus knew when He was arrested that all the disciples would run and leave Him all alone. “You will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:32-33)
Since it’s not uncommon to feel so lonesome you could cry, the significant component in overcoming those feelings of being lonely is making a concerted effort to bring other people out of their loneliness. For real! If you focus on your own loneliness you can become bitter. There are a lot of lonely people looking for a friend. Invest your time in others. I’m convinced the best place to find a cure for your loneliness is in the church. This is a safe place for lonely people to find love and acceptance. The result will be that you will deliver yourself from loneliness. The wonderful thing about this investment in others is that it may only take as little as a simple word or small gesture of kindness to make all the difference in the life of someone else.
Most baseball fans know Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the major league. As a Brooklyn Dodger, wherever he played, he was booed and heckled by the fans. He underwent being the target of the “N” word even in his home stadium, Ebbets Field. During one particular game, he struck out, and then committed an infield error. Standing there dejected at second base, the crowd booed and demeaned him. Then without saying a word, shortstop Pee Wee Reese walked over to Jackie Robinson putting his arm around his shoulders and stood alongside him facing the crowd together. Pee Wee Reese in effect was saying by this gesture of kindness, “If you boo Jackie Robinson, you’ve got to boo me too.” The booing stopped the game continued and Jackie said later in reference to the incident, “That arm around my shoulder saved my career.”
I would venture to say there is probably someone you know, even in the seat next to you, who needs the same kindness and friendship from you.