Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On Isolation

Today’s Our Daily Bread had some interesting things to say about the topic of isolation.  The author of today’s devotional was Bill Crowder.  He states:

“Whether isolated by our own choices, by the cultural trends that surround us, or by painful losses of life, all who know Christ can rest in the presence of the Shepherd of our hearts.  What a friend we have in Jesus!…Those who know Jesus as their Friend are never alone.”

I found this to be a refreshing alternative to judgmental things that I have read by evangelicals about loners: that they are selfish, that they are not truly following Christ, that their failure to reach out to others will result in nobody helping them when they need help or coming to their funeral, etc.

One could object that today’s devotion neglects the importance of human companionship, that God did not expect for Adam to find fulfillment in God alone but created Eve to keep him company.  Fair enough, but there are plenty of people who find themselves alone.  There may be a variety of reasons: death of loved ones, living away from family, temperament, Asperger’s, a cold world, etc.  In the same way that we should not judge those who crave human companionship because they find that just praying to God does not make them feel better, we should also not judge those whose only company is God.

Still, we should try to make the world less cold than it is.  And being alone can have its disadvantages: there are things that I do not know, for example, and so I have appreciated the times when I could draw from the knowledge, experiences, and savvy of others.  There is a group where I live, and its aim is to do services for people who lack a social or family support network.  This group is vital, and there should be more groups like it.

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