The other day I went over to The Humidor to write a bunch of papers (It’s my writing place). After I bought the new Bruce Springsteen album (which I rather enjoy), I got to writing.
But, of course, I was distracted by the other men sitting in the fancy leather chairs. Most of them were older (late 50’s to mid 60’s) but there were some other young’ns like me there. But the older men, it was easy to spot the lack of wedding rings.
As they’d put their cigar to their mouth there was no shimmer of gold, not gleam of silver, not even the hint of a faded tan line. Granted some of these men just might not wear a ring, but more than likely (considering America has the highest divorce rate of the whole wide world) these men came to smoke a cigar because going home meant being alone.
Fun word right?
It can be freeing and damning simultaneously.
To be honest I don’t know where to go with this post. I can take the one road and point out we’re never alone, God, the triune God, is always there, always with us, sustaining and upholding.
On the other road we could think about the difficult times when being alone just down right sucks. Or we could talk about when being alone is exactly what our heart longs to be, or, still more and most troubling, that feeling of being alone in a crowded room.
But let’s do this: let’s take this rout, that of being lost and alone. When one can’t find their way out of the night, and the valley has too many curves and turns and drops to seem to ever have an end. As John Mark McMillan says, “The valley of the shadow knows our names…”
I woke up last night reciting this: “Even in the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me.”
So to all the alone roads their end is the same. When lost and alone, refining and tempering is going on, and there, in the midst of the confusion and sorrow, right beside us walks another who the valley knows well. When the crowded room might as well be empty, even then the end is the same. When our hearts need the space, there we are being comforted. Jesus is there and knows.
So alone? No. Not at all. Never alone.
But, to be terribly honest perfection doesn’t always keep good company with sinners like us. Though he’s there, he’s not always what we think we need.