“Let’s begin by gathering our loneliness and shame and taking them home to our Father, who will overwhelm our shame with His perfect love and satisfy our deepest longings for belonging.”- Ruth Graham
“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.”- Proverbs 14:13 (ESV)
“God makes a home for the lonely.”- Psalm 68:6 (NASB)
As Ruth Graham continues Chapter 1 of Transforming Loneliness, she stresses the need to shatter the power of shame. For example, as Ruth worked on this book, she learned how common and easy it is to feel ashamed for being lonely. Perhaps, Ms. Graham posits, we think loneliness implies that we’re deficient in some way. Or, we don’t want people to find out we’re lacking or inadequate. Because either we possess few close friends or find ourselves unable to enjoy solitude.
So, in response, we cover or mask our pain. And we keep that pain secret. As a result, we increase our sense of isolation. Therefore, all too often the lonely suffer in silence. In turn, that heightens our belief that no one else truly understands what we think or how we feel. Hence, we literally feel pushed out “into the cold.”
In fact, an article in Psychology Today reveals that loneliness actually makes us feel colder. Furthermore, people recalling a time they felt lonely estimated the room temperature as much colder than it was. Even their actual skin temperature dropped.
Above all, Ruth underscores, we discover the healthiest response to loneliness in the Word of God. For God’s Word never disappoints. In the Bible God gifts us with many reassuring words of empathy, comfort, and insight. In addition, God’s Word provides us with rich, fascinating examples of God’s people dealing with loneliness. Whether this happened as they sought Him or served Him. Even if they fled from or followed Him.
Today’s question: What most helps in gathering our loneliness and shame, handing them over to our Father in heaven? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A desperately lonely picture – pelican in the desert”