We are not meant to be alone.
On Monday I did a funeral for a man I never met. This is not the first time I have done such a funeral, but it was a first in another way. This man died all alone.
Twenty years ago, he was found alive on his floor after being in the same spot for two days. His mind had slipped and he was incoherent. The police found no relatives, so they gave his case to the state. The state assigned this man a lawyer, and the lawyer watched over his estate until he died last week. He spent his last twenty years alone. No one knew who he was and no one cared to search for him. The nurses cared for him but they didn’t know anything about his life.
For twenty years he was surrounded by people, yet he was alone. I can’t imagine what that would be like. I don’t want to know what that would be like.
It encourages me that Jesus never wanted us to be alone. We live with the glorious comforting promise that God will never leave us nor forsake us. God is always with us.
Jesus also wanted to make sure that His disciples live in community. He didn’t want them to be “lone-ranger” Christians. He wants us to live with one another. Think about it. He called them into a fellowship. He never sent a disciple to do a job alone. His desire is for us to live out His life with others.
Some might say, why? We are bound to hurt one another. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just do it ourselves? Then we would have no one else who could mess up our lives, and we couldn’t mess up theirs.
But then we would miss the joys and the laughter. We would miss the engaging conversations over a meal. We would have no one to share our lives and our struggles with. In the end, we would be all alone in a nursing home. We would have people who take care of us who have no idea what excites us. We would die with no one by our side. No one would miss us. We would have a funeral with no one there.
Photo by Thomas Lieser