Ah, look at all the lonely people.
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
(“Eleanor Rigby” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
In the near future, it will be my honor to conduct a wedding ceremony. In my remarks I nearly always quote the passage: “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). If all goes as planned, this couple will grow old together. They will experience work and play, sorrow and joy, love and heartache, victory and defeat. Most likely one will die before the other and the one left behind will know (as they never could otherwise) what it means to be lonely. Their years of togetherness will be a wonderful, glowing memory.
Humans were not created to be alone. We are a “flocking animal.” Some animals are “loners” by nature. They wander solo through most of the year and only congregate with others of their species at mating season to reproduce.
Oh yes, a great number of our sort seem to seek the lonely life. They live alone, eat alone and, aside from the occasional one-night-stand, sleep alone. Even in a crowd they may seek to be alone. But we humans were meant for deeper relationships. When we keep things shallow we miss most of the richness and consolation of life.
Loneliness seldom works for long. It seldom works well. Early in my backpacking days I was warned to “…never hike alone.” If you’ve seen the film, 127 Hours, you know what I’m talking about. Too many things, some deadly, can happen – falls, snakebites, sprained ankles, encounters with unfriendly animals, getting lost, getting stuck and other situations and circumstances where companions become lifesavers. We all need companions, comrades, confidantes, confessors…friends to share life’s joys, triumphs, sorrows and challenges.
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless— a miserable business!
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12)
Are you lonely? Are you trying to fly solo through an empty sky? May I suggest a way to land safely? In every community of size there’s a group of people who will eagerly befriend you. They meet together one or more times a week to connect with their Creator and each other. Oh, they’re not perfect (just like you) but they’re not lonely. They’ll take you in and overlook your faults if you will theirs. It is a safe place where God teaches us how to love Him and each other. They pray together, sing together and seek guidance in God’s Word together. And, every so often they will sing:
Blest be the tie that binds, / Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship of kindred minds / Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne, / We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, / Our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes / Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows / The sympathizing tear.
If you are seeking an end to loneliness, let me know where you live and I will do my best to help you find a group of friends who just might be seeking you.