Monday, March 14, 2011

Crushed Spirits

Have you ever felt crushed in spirit?  If you are like me, your answer is yes.  There are many things in this world that crush our spirits.  One manifestation of a crushed spirit is loneliness.  Of late, I’ve felt loneliness.  And, each time I reach this state, I feel guilty for feeling as I do.  After all, I have so much to be thankful for.  I have parents who love me, a house, a car, a job, plenty to eat, heat in winter – cool in summer.  I can walk, talk, hear, see, think, smell, and feel.  What right do I have to complain about anything?  Stop wallowing.  End the pity party.  Snap out of it.  The Lord has said, “I am with you always.”  I know He is; still, life for a single woman can be very lonely at times.  The world seems not to be designed for single people in general, and single women in particular.

As an only child, I learned early how to entertain myself.  You learn how to be alone when you are alone most of the time, and even today I desire a certain amount of solitude.  Still, I’ve always loved people, so while I like solitude, I also desire to interact with others.  More specifically, I desire to interact with a few close friends.  And, right now, I find myself without any really close friends.  And, if I analyze my feelings, this is why I'm feeling loneliness.  I actually believe I'm mourning the loss of a friend.  Moreover, I believe I'm also feeling the sting of being cast aside.  It doesn’t matter if you are 12 or slightly past 29 (I still have a sense of humor), being tossed out hurts at any age.

Now, I’m not the most sensitive person in the world when it comes to reading people.  So, I generally have to ask what many people know intuitively.  And, I have asked my friend if I did something to hurt her, anger her, offend her.  She assures me I have not.  I’ve also tried to express how I miss her, but it doesn’t seem to matter.  I’ve come to realize over the last year my friendship isn’t important.  I’m at a loss because once it seemed I mattered and now it’s clear I don’t.

Which brings me to another question: Why do we (humans) tend to cast people aside if we don’t need them anymore?  If we’re experiencing a crisis, we want to be comforted.  And if we’re blessed, there is someone there to comfort.  Albeit, not always someone capable of comforting since some hurts are too deep for others to understand; nevertheless, someone cares enough to be there when called, to email to say, “I’m thinking of you.”  And if we have someone like that in our lives, why don’t we hold on to them and show them we care once the crisis has passed?  For me, I have no answer.  It takes a lot for me to say, “I’m through with you.” So, I’ve never been able to comprehend the people who could toss me aside because “they didn’t need me anymore.”

And, so I have come to the final question.  Does God ever feel lonely because of us?  We’re desperately seeking Him, when we need Him, but when the crisis is over, we’re off on our merry little way.  Our need has been met and we really don’t feel any obligation to maintain a relationship, at least, not until we need Him to help us in another situation.

Because God is who He is…the Creator of everything, I tend to think He doesn’t feel loneliness.  But, I can’t help but think He does feel sadness when we put Him aside.  He, best of all, understands how we feel when it seems all have abandoned us.  He understands because He felt it in the Garden.  He felt it in Pilate’s Hall.  He felt it most profoundly on Calvary’s cross.  I know He understands.  Therefore, though I feel a deep loss and sadness, and though loneliness is all about me, I can confidently say Jesus cares and so does God.  He cares when no one else does.  And, even though I may toss Him aside to pursue other things, He still cares and He is always there when all others have put me on the curb.

Will this loneliness pass?  Yes, but until it does, I must ask God to: “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalm 25:16).  And, the really beautiful thing is He will.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa,
    You've written a very provocative peace on loneliness. I am feeling lonely these days because of an empty nest. For 20 years the house was completely full...babies, then children and then teenagers. Now that the kids are in college, it seems way too quiet around here. I even bought by Emily White entitled "Lonely: Learning to live with Solitude" I'll let you know if it helps. Russ