You must understand that I've lived alone for more than ten years now, ten years without anyone to hold, no one to share with, it hasn't been easy. But despite the feelings of inadequacy and isolation I have come through with the help of God. Yeah, I know that even God says, "It is not good for man to be alone," but to tell the truth, I'm not.
You see, when I've gone for months without speaking to another human being, up to eight months at one time, I do spend time talking to God himself. I go roaming around the farm and on the beach with my little camera and a Walkman, either singing along and taking pictures or just talking to Him. There are of course my animals too, no they don't talk back to me or hold me when I'm down but they do show concern and are always accepting of me whether the rest of the world acknowledges me or not.
How can I just talk and never have God speak back to me? you may ask. But you see he does. Let me tell you about a particular incident when He did speak back. (I may have mentioned this once before, I'm not sure, so if you have heard this before please forgive me.)
One morning, when I was feeling very unloved and unwanted, unforgivable and rejected by God himself, I went for a walk on the rocks where the waves fill little pools and the more fragile life forms can find refuge. I had just come from an early morning prayer group and because the meeting finished at seven and the store I wanted to go to only opened at eight, I thought I'd just go down to the rocks and wander around for an hour before walking back to the farm. I didn't have wheels so walking was how I got around and the farm was about three kilometers away so waiting wasn't a problem.
I was very down at the time and was just wandering around amongst the rock pools, not really taking much note of what was in them. As with all of us when we are depressed or lonely we tend to hang our heads and do in fact look down. The tide was out and because of this I was quite far from the beach, or should I rather say where the rocks ended and the grass began. I remember saying to the Lord, "Lord Jesus, do you really love me or am I just kidding myself?" Well I was stepping over a rock pool when I happened to look into it and there I saw what I thought was a piece of copper pipe half hidden under a rock. Without thinking I bent down and reached into the water and lifted out the piece of tubing. It wasn't copper nor a piece of pipe but a gold wedding band. It was kind of brown and had muck on it which I rubbed off. There was writing on the inside but it was only the manufacturers stamp, you know what I mean, no name or any information about who the ring belonged to.
I stood there in the early morning misty sunshine with the waves gently washing around the rocks further out looking at what I had in my hand. A wedding ring, how amazing. I sort of wondered whether it would fit on my ring finger and tried but it was too small and then I slipped it onto my pinkie finger. It went on.
And as it slipped on, into my heart came the words, "I love you like a bridegroom loves his bride." And the tears just came and came. Here was Geoff, the most unlovable creature in the entire creation listening to the son of God telling him that he loved me.
I started walking back to the farm, stopping on the way home to get what I needed from the shop, all the time thinking about what had just happened. When I got home I went to my room and opened my Bible and read the following scripture from the book of John chapter 13 verse 12, " After washing their feet and taking his garments again, he sat down. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked."
It has taken me many years and a huge amount of struggle to understand what this all meant, but I think I've come to understand it in this way; "You are sad about what you don't have, you miss the things that you think will make you happy, but you do not realize that for you I have made a place in my kingdom. You have found favour with me and I know you by name, I have removed your sins and cast them into the sea and I have come close to you Geoffrey because I love you like no other ever can. I will never ever leave you nor forsake you even though you do not understand. To me you are precious because I have seen into your heart, where no other ever can."
When I look back at my life and see for myself how true those words are, all the times I've been lonely, how I've run after love and understanding and felt completely unworthy of being accepted, it reminds me that Jesus, the son of God, has always been there whenever I've cried out to him, always.
The ring fell off my finger when I went to that insanely freezing city known as London a few years ago but the words he spoke into my heart remain.
So, if you are lonely, go for a walk by yourself. Talk to God, he's listening, ask him questions and know that even though the rest of society considers you the outcast, no one's friend, He accepts you just as you are. He too was an outcast, rejected and despised so he understands your heart more than anyone else ever could. What if others think you are weird or stupid? So what? they are already making you feel that way anyway so what difference will it make. No, you just go talk to him and forget everything anyone else would think of you. This is between you and God, nothing to do with anyone else.
Am I still alone? Of course I am, but things are different now, now I spend more time thinking about the things I have to be grateful for, my dogs and cats and chickens and geese and rabbits and fish and and and. No I don't have money or great cars or popularity or someone to hold but I do have the acceptance of God even though I let him down over and over again. You see, I too love my son and daughter and will never ever leave them nor forsake them, they are that precious to me. God's son, Jesus, considers me a friend in the kingdom of God, accepted as a son and loved accordingly.
My prayer for you is; Father God, you are so loving and understanding, you have shown me such kindness by accepting me as one of your own. Please show that same love to those who read this blog post with loneliness in their hearts. Speak to their hearts in the same way you speak to mine and let them see that, to you, they are acceptable and precious. Give them the hope of being part of your circle of friends, cared for and lovable in your eyes. This I humbly ask, as one of those to whom you listen, in the greatest name ever given to man, Jesus.
Thus speaks the high and exalted one,
whose name is holy, who lives forever:
I dwell in a high and holy place
with him who is broken and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
to revive the courage of the broken. (Isaiah 57 verse 15)