A Lesson on Loneliness Learned in the Desert…

     Quite by accident, while working in my home office one recent morning, I landed on a Youtube video of Brene’ Brown delivering a sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.[1] She spoke of human and spiritual connections and made some fascinating observations about loneliness.

  • Brene’ Brown, a social work researcher, explained that as our culture has sorted more and more into factions, loneliness rates have grown. She declared, “The more sorted we are, the lonelier we are.”
  • The results of loneliness are severe. “Loneliness,” Brown reported, “is a greater predictor of early death than smoking, obesity and drinking.”

     Have you ever felt all alone in your personal pain or struggle?

     If you responded, “Yes!” then I’m in good company. Often, I’ve felt so very alone—even when surrounded by those I imagine care about me!

     On our recent vacation, while my husband and I drove many miles through the desert, I started thinking about loneliness after observing this lone Joshua tree. All by herself! Scorching sun beating down upon her day after day!

One lonely Joshua tree by Ron Reeve

Even during the nighttime, I can imagine, she may have felt like David who moaned,

     I lie awake,

          And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.
               (Psalm 102:7 NKJV, emphasis mine)

     Loneliness always seems greater during nighttime hours.

          Sleep eludes.

               We worry.

                    We wonder.

                         We toss.

                              We turn.

     I imagine God feels sad when we feel lonely. God, in the very existence of Father, Son and Spirit is never alone. After God created man, the biblical creation account says God knew it wasn’t a good thing for man to be alone, and woman was created. Both man and woman were created in the very image of God, and each was designed to be in relationship with one another and with his and her Creator.

     In my next post, I’d like to re-visit the lonely Joshua tree and consider an antidote for loneliness.

Until then…

Sue Reeve

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndP1XDskXHY

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