Larger than all our loneliness, Stronger than all our willful cries, Calmer with each new forgiveness, Shines saving Christ love from his eyes. (Living Calm 2016)
We are born wanting to control our world in ways that please us. As I’ve so often quoted, we want to “be as gods” (KJ Gen. 3:5). Which to me means that we actually don’t want to be God or even be like God (as some translations say). But we do want to operate as a god, controlling our own personal little corner of the world.
And yet living in that small space can be very lonely. No other human being can actually know what’s in our heart. And so it’s easy to spend most of our natural lives running around in circles, willfully and desperately, trying to fill or satisfy the loneliness inside, loneliness that I had a lot of for a few years.
A few months after my saving moment experience, I was visiting my parents and thinking how nice it had been to spend a few days with other people in the house. I clearly recall opening the stairway door so I could run up and get my things to fly back to my solitary life in Boston. And then I stood still in amazement at the clarity of this thought—Christ was right there with me and would always be there with me. I’d never be alone again.
Which is why I now say, we are all alone inside ourselves until we open ourselves to the Lord. The Saviour knows the lonely “me” that lives in consciousness, the part that no one can know. And it is in this unseen part of us where Christ’s smile of comfort and forgiveness and healing happen. As Jesus says, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (NRSV John 14:23). His unseen and continuing companionship is the Lord’s wonderful surprise.