Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Solitary Way

I'm far from alone at church, but it's where I feel lonely more than anywhere else. I miss walking into the building as a family of five, having help dropping off and picking up the boys in their Sunday School rooms, sitting next to someone during the service and talking about the message on the way home. I even miss being a passenger in our truck! I may look and sound okay, but my heart is still hurting.

Miriam Neff, a widow, author and speaker, once said "loneliness is not descriptive enough of the space that becomes the cocoon of the widow". This is so true.

This poem is from today's entry in L.B. Cowman's Consolation:

A Solitary Way

There is a mystery in human hearts;
And though we be encircled by a host
Of those who love us well, and are beloved,
To every one of us, from time to time,
There comes a sense of utter loneliness:
Our dearest friend is stranger to our joy,
And cannot realize our bitterness.
There is not one who really understands,
Not one to enter into all I feel:
Such is the cry of each of us in turn;
We wander in a solitary way.
No matter what or where our lot may be;
Each heart, mysterious even to itself,
Must live its inner life in solitude.

And would you know the reason why this is?
It is because the Lord desires our love:
In every heart He wishes to be first.
He therefore keeps the secret key Himself,
To open all its chambers and to bless
With perfect sympathy and holy peace,
Each solitary soul that comes to Him.
So when we feel this loneliness, it is
The voice of Jesus saying, "Come to me";
And every time we are not understood,
It is a call to us to come again;
For Christ alone can satisfy the soul,
And those who walk with Him from day to day,
Can never have a solitary way.

And when beneath some heavy cross you faint,
And say, I cannot bear this load alone,
You say the truth. Christ made it purposely
So heavy that you must return to Him.
The bitter grief, which no one understands,
Conveys a secret message from the King,
Entreating you to come to Him again.
The Man of Sorrows understands it well;
In all points tempted, He can feel with you.
You cannot come too often, or two near -
The Son of God is infinite in grace,
His presence satisfies the longing soul,
And those who walk with Him from day to day,
Can never have a solitary way.

This poem came at a time when my heart desperately needed to be comforted and encouraged in my loneliness.

Loneliness is a gift. It's a nudge to assess and possibly re-align the priorities in our walk with Christ and it can draw us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. It's so comforting and encouraging to know I can find in Jesus what I can't find in anyone else.