Have You Ever Felt Alone in a Crowd?

Have you ever felt alone in a crowd?

Have you ever sat in a room full of people and felt saturated with loneliness?

When my children were young and encountered the occasional week-end when no friends were available for plans, they would despair and complain that they hated time alone. My exhortation was always the same: there is a lot of life ahead and for some of it we will be with others but there are times when each of us is just unavoidably alone. It’s crucial to learn how to be alone.

Aloneness hits us for many reasons. Illness, pain, death, separation, emotional disturbance, physical separation, depression, broken relationships, distance, travel, busy schedules, etc. It’s possible to be alone lying right next to someone just as it’s possible to be alone and not lonely.

I think Mary had a moment of profound aloneness on the night Jesus was born.

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:15-19

Better than anyone in the room, Mary knew this child was from God, was in fact, the Messiah, and she knew her life was now inextricably bound with His, whatever it may hold. The mother of God, a singular calling on a young life that changed in a moment any plans or dreams she had for herself. There must have been an aloneness about it that only the Holy Spirit could invade.

Joseph probably felt alone, too. When he learned in a dream that King Herod sought the life of his young son and was told to escape to Egypt, he probably felt very alone. This was not the life he planned – fleeing his homeland with a young family to live in hiding – always watching their backs. What did his family think about his sojourn in Egypt? But, again, the aloneness he experienced could be penetrated by a loving, Heavenly Father.

So, this is what I have always told my children. There are times when those of us blessed with the fullest of lives feel alone. I remember feeling profoundly alone as I lay in a darkened ultrasound room having learned I had just suffered my second miscarriage. I am well loved and supported by others but in that moment, I was alone. But I wasn’t. The Holy Spirit was present in that room and while the grief was powerful and real, so was the presence of the One who Sees Me, El Shaddai and I drew strength from His nearness.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who was imprisoned with her sister in Ravensbruck concentration camp for hiding Jews from the Nazis.  Corrie’s sister, Betsie, died in the camps but Corrie survived.  She spent the rest of her life spreading the message that “there is no pit so deep that the Presence of God is not there with us.”  This from a woman who had experienced one of the deepest pits in human history!

So I tell my children, we need a day-by-day, moment-by-moment, relationship with Jesus Christ because He is there when no one else is – or can be. He will never leave or us nor forsake us. He is God WITH us. Emmanuel.

Perhaps you have a home full of people or perhaps you live completely apart – at the end of the day, there is no other voice in your home but yours. No matter your circumstances, you need to avail yourself of the presence of Jesus – the only One who can walk with us through every one of life’s valleys. I believe we are designed to never be completely fulfilled solely on relationships with other humans. That remnant of longing that remains even when we are as close to another human as possible is the reminder that He loves us and longs for relationship with us.  We are hard-wired to need Him, to long for Him, to feel a certain aloneness that only be assuaged by His presence.

He came to be God WITH us, Emmanuel. Celebrate His coming by being WITH Him today.

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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely beautiful in spirit and in wording, Lori!
    Thank you for including me on your sharing list
    Blessings on your Christmas season and may your words and the spirit behind them bless someone who feels alone at this season.
    Love,
    Judith Jlo Quinton

  2. Wonderfully said! It is so true, if we bet let Him into our lives, we are never alone. I love that so much about God!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lori – Thjanks for the words of encouragement and the often needed reminder that God is always with us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lori – Thank you for the gentle reminder that God is with us. Angel

  5. Thank you, Judith! Thank you for joining my blog party! 🙂

  6. Glad you know this truth, too, Eileen. It is powerful.

  7. Angel, thank you for coming by!

  8. Cheri says:

    Just Beautiful, Lori!

  9. Cheri says:

    Just saw the pictures on your sidebar of your family! What a beautiful girl your daughter is! And your son is so handsome. Praise Jesus for His blessings in our families!

    Hugs,
    Cheri

  10. Thank you, Cheri. They get their looks from their dad! Good of you to drop in.