Most everyone experiences loneliness at some point in their lives.
The child that is not popular at school is left alone on the playground during recess. You can usually spot that child quite easily. Perhaps he is sitting on the curb playing with the pebbles. Perhaps she is swinging on a swing with no one around her.
The teen who is the only one not invited to the party of the year. While others are having fun and will most likely be rehashing all that fun the next school day, she sits at home trying to come up with an excuse to skip the next day of school.
The young adult who left home to go to a place to learn but knows no one. The buildings aren’t familiar; the food isn’t mom’s cooking; he sits alone at a corner table in the library wondering if perhaps college isn’t for him.
The middle aged mom who chose the difficult job of staying home to raise children. The only thing is, now those children aren’t children anymore. They have all grown up and have started their own lives. Of course mom is happy for them; after all, that is how it is supposed to work. But for 20 plus years, all mom has known was, well, being a mom. Her husband still has his job. Things haven’t changed for him, except he has fewer mouths to feed and provide for now. But for mom, she suddenly finds herself with plenty of time on her hands and not much with which to fill it.
Then there’s the widow. She knew death was part of life. Still, though, it is a shock that it happened to him. Now, she sits alone in a house that is much quieter than it used to be when he was alive and had the television turned up so loudly the neighbors could hear it.
Yes, loneliness affects all ages and stages of life. Even some of God’s greatest men faced loneliness.
David, as he hid in a cave from his enemies.
Joseph, as he sat in a prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Elijah, after he met the prophets of Baal on a mountain–and showed them up!
Perhaps even Jesus felt lonely as he prayed in the Garden and those closest to Him, those he asked to stay awake with Him, fell asleep.
Loneliness. It is a difficult pill to swallow sometimes.
Sometimes. Some times.
Sometimes, loneliness is self-induced. Someone who is used to not being liked or welcomed pushes people away who try to break into the lonely world lived in. People say, “We all need community.” But community hasn’t always worked out too well for this person. She believes that being an island is the best thing for all around her. So, she pushes.
Until suddenly, she realizes, there is no one to push anymore. People are tired of getting turned away after making the trek to get to the far off island in the first place. People have stopped trying to reach her island.
Loneliness hits like bullet fired from a shotgun–hard, fast, deadly.
And suddenly, the thought of being an island isn’t as alluring as it once was.