Recently, a fellow resident shared her story. In 1989, Dorothy’s husband of 42 years suddenly died from a massive heart attack, just two weeks before they were to leave on a planned cruise. Her son, John, who lived nearby, was very concerned about her loneliness. He was very supportive, and to this day, although he now lives in New Brunswick, he speaks with his mother daily.
Nevertheless, quite understandably, Dorothy was quite despondent. Her doctor said to her one day, “You will be spending a lot of time alone. You must learn to like your own company!”
Dorothy tells me that this was a turning point in her life, and now, over 30 years later, she has survived a stroke and is still going strong.
Just as John was supportive of his mother, so was Jesus concerned about His mother being alone after He died on the cross:
“When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27 NIV)
We are all created with a need for companionship. Indeed, if we go back to the story of creation in Genesis, God declared that it was not good that man should be alone. Not surprisingly, therefore, this is a universal need.
Currently, with the worldwide pandemic forcing us to spend more time alone than normal, loneliness is causing more widespread despondency than ever. In recent months, comments to this effect are probably the most common that I have heard.
Since Jesus is truly and properly man as well as being truly and properly God, it is wonderfully reassuring that He chose to share this feeling of loneliness in a dramatic way on the cross.
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ — which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” (Matthew 27:46 NIV)
Just as Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, we know that He understands what life is like for someone alone. Perhaps that is why Scripture repeats so often the great assurance that if we accept Him as our Leader, we are never alone, for He is with us.
“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5b NKJV)
“‘Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” (Matthew 28:20b NKJV)
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for teaching us that we never need to be alone. We are grateful that, even in these days of isolation, through Your power within us, we can learn to like our own company. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada