I know that Christmas can be a sad and stressful time for many people. I don’t want to be a careless or unfeeling Christian this time of year. Many of you are hurting because of broken families, injured relationships, sickness, death and worse of all, out and out loneliness. I once read a book called, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” It is one of the only books that dealt so well with the topic of modern day loneliness. There was a character in the book that seemed to have everything. She was brilliant, successful, witty, beautiful and desirable. But she had no reason to stay or leave a place. Nothing weighed her down. No annoying family responsibilities, no endless family squabbles, no horrible job to complain about, no children to whom she needed to sacrifice. No ties to tether her to the ground- she could just as easily move here or move there. People often told her they were jealous of her ability to live abroad or in any beautiful nook in the world.
She hadn’t intended for her life to work out that way- it just did. Her wit & charm were weapons to cover the pain lest anyone should know that she was the poorest of them all- the most destitute. Holidays were the worst time of all- everyone had reasons to be pulled this way and that- no one had time to spend with her. All the men around her were frightened of her beauty, thinking she was too good for them, not knowing her desperate need for love and on the holidays, even her beauty couldn’t lure them from their lives full of annoying burdens. She refused to throw herself at them sexually. So, she suffered terribly.
Loneliness is a terrible, terrible thing. Of all the evils satan has concocted, loneliness is the worst. Once, I lived in San Francisco. I was making so much money as a management consultant that I never bothered balancing my check book. It’s true! I lived in a beautiful high-rise apartment right on the water, I ate out every night in a little French restaurant next to my building. The reason I did that was because being in my apartment was hell. I would stand there in the evenings, completely and deafeningly silent, and look across at all the apartment buildings. The water and boats sparkled beautifully as the sun set. But I would look and see all the little people in their bubbles, walking around, alone too. I wondered, “Are you perishing too? Do you wish for death as much as I do? Would you think I am insane if I knocked on your door and told you I just needed to talk to another human being? Would you be relieved or would you just think I was the biggest loser?”
All the little fish swimming around, alone. It wasn’t right. It couldn’t be right. This was not intended by God. We are not intended to be separate from one another, separate from Him. We are meant to be jolly together, rejoicing with one another in mutual friendship, laughter, song and joy! What we do in life is imprisonment. Wealthy imprisonment.
Loneliness is a curse. I remember well the torturous holidays. All of you who are suffering as you read this, I am with you. My heart is with you. I have lived it and do not speak it lightly. I know the vastness and hopelessness of that desert. I have heard God’s complete silence as well. But I am here now, having crossed that terrible, cold, place to tell you that God has not forgotten you any more than he forgot me. Because, look at me now. It was in that San Francisco apartment that I once wanted to take my life. I sat in my one and only chair (imagine that! I bought ONE chair for my apartment! Such was the loneliness of my life) and my whole chest cried out in passion to God. I told him that I was at my end! I couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to deliver me or I would die. I just told him my deepest desire: a husband, children, a home and a loving family to call my own. I felt the Holy Spirit move inside of me and I simply knew he had heard. He was still silent way back then because it was before I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But I want you to know that many years (yes, it took years) later, God gave me every thing my heart desired. And more.
Sometimes, God makes us endure long times of suffering- not because he enjoys it but because he is preparing us for a special work. He was preparing me for THIS work, right here. He was preparing me to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which I never would have been ready to receive without this painful time and all that it had taught me. Because of that time, and because of God’s miraculous delivery, I can witness to you that God HEARS, God LOVES and God never forgets a single one of us- even when we are trapped in a little bubble and no one in the entire world cares if we live or die. HE cares.
Don’t love heart, my loves. God sees you clearly. You are not forgotten this holiday season. I see you. God sees you. Jesus sees you. The Holy Spirit sees you. Put your whole faith in God. Pray to him and tell him your hearts desire. Read your Bible, go to church, love God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will FIND what you most need. After I conclude this essay, I will pray for all of you who are lonely out there. God bless you and keep you. I love you, Susan