Following recipes, parking my truck, responding to emails: three things I am notoriously bad at. Over the past year, though, I’ve found something else to add to the list.
“It’s a simple task”, I promised myself. The knot of scribbled ink in the corner of my blank paper didn’t agree. I headlined my page with the impossible: “How to cure loneliness.” I might as well have written “How to race Light around the moon and back in time for dinner.”
So here’s the confession:
I am lonely. No. I sometimes feel lonely.
And no, I can’t cure it.
Lonely isn’t an “always” feeling for me, but it’s definitely a regular around here. I don’t need much imagination to guess that you’ve experienced it too. The hardest part of all is that loneliness doesn’t follow the same rules other feelings do. It’s unpredictable. Loneliness doesn’t try the least bit to conceal its presence, because it knows it’s just slippery enough to rarely be captured and hurled away.
So what is it anyway? In all of my living and watching and reading and scribbling, this is the best I can say:
Loneliness is the breach between a soul and the connections it was created for.
It’s a breach. A gap. A disconnect.
I like to think of it this way: Humans were made for unity. You and I were made to experience perfect unity with God and with other humans. But when Eve fell for the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden at the very beginning of time, this unity was lost for every other soul that would ever come to be. Thanks, Eve.
So no wonder you and I are born feeling a cosmic disconnect. We are, my friend, the threads of Eve. And what’s more,
We are threads that are supposed to trace along in unbroken unity.
So if lonely always finds me, I think I see why: I am a thread of Eve, intended for perfect connection, but I’m frayed and snapped by the sin and brokenness in my own heart and in the world around me.
But does my disconnect end here? Is lonely forever? And is there even a cure for it?
I can’t wait to dive into all of that in my next post!
For now, find a quiet time and a quiet place to reflect on the verses in Isaiah 59 below, showing the breach between our souls and the connections they were spun for. (And, *spoiler alert!* there’s hope!) Keep an eye out for “The hope in loneliness” – coming soon!