Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)
Recently my internet connection went down and I was lost. I could not send out the daily devotionals nor could I surf the net to get information to help with my devotionals.
My BlackBerry receives my email so I did have some connection to the internet. But how could I use that small device to try and compose the devotionals and get them on the website? In some ways I felt alone.
I really did feel alone, lost, disconnected from some vital parts of life and my work. It was then that I thought of what it feels like to lose your partner in life.
I recall some 21 years ago when I was suddenly on my own. It was difficult to walk through my empty home and not find someone to talk to. I was no longer able to have conversations about future plans. No one was there to give me advice or suggestions on how to deal with this matter or that. No welcome home when I entered the quiet house.
There is something very sad about making meals for one. Sitting alone in the kitchen eating and looking out the window to the back yard can difficult. What I wanted to do was go to the mall and walk around in the crowd to try and mask my loneliness.
God made us for community and when an individual is suddenly bereft of one of the most important people in their life it makes living a dreary effort. Life seems suddenly very unfair and we wonder when or if the pain will ever go away. Everything is flat and without any attraction.
Our verses today are sympathetic to the person who journeys through life alone. There is no one to help them in times of need. This is one of the reasons for us gathering into groups we call church. In New Testament times churches had such things as a widow’s list. 1 Timothy 5:2-16 is an extended discussion of how the churches should be of assistance to the widows.
People who are alone should be nurtured and cherished by the church family. In western society we have celebrations at Easter, Christmas, on birthdays, etc. People who live alone need to be invited to the homes of other people to celebrate these special days.
Yet, I have had to counsel some widows and others who live alone to go out themselves and bring other lonely people into their home. I then call on them to treat the lonely with the care the church should afford them but does not.
It is not too early to start planning your Christmas party for the lonely. Buy presents to give them, prepare special treats they can enjoy with you and that can be taken home for eating later. You may be alone but you do not need to be lonely.