Jesus Pushes Back
“The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp.” Leviticus 13.45-46 NIV
Loneliness is emotional leprosy. Somewhere in the past, lonely people came to believe they did not have what it takes to attract and keep friends. The erroneous belief evolved into a sturdier reality with each lost relationship opportunity. Another layer of confidence was eroded with each passing day of solitude. Their attire, expressions, and posture adapted to an inner conviction of their own un-lovable-ness. The chronically lonesome learned to scream in silence,“Unclean! Unclean!” and consistently repelled the people they could have loved.
Lonely people conclude they“must live alone.” They resign themselves to“live outside the camp” of happy social interaction. They expect nothing from others and develop an acute sense of abandonment. If you try to love them, they push you away. If you try to help them, they will recite for you their mantra: “It’s too late now,” and you will tend to agree. Their years turn into decades as the pattern of withdrawal deepens and the cycle of isolation worsens. They die old and alone and lonely. Paul and John wrote a song about it fifty-three years ago.
“Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name. Nobody came.
“Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave. No one was saved.
“All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”
“Eleanor Rigby” from Revolver by the Beatles, 1966.
When Jesus encountered Simon Peter by the Lake of Gennesaret, He performed a miracle which demonstrated His deity and proved His love. Peter betrayed feelings of fear and isolation. He knew the leprosy of his own soul. Peter tried to push Jesus away.
“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Luke 5.8 NIV
But Jesus pushed back.
“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
Luke 5.10 NIV
Jesus is hope for “all the lonely people.” He healed lonely lepers then, and He heals us now. He fills all the lonely places with divine power and love. He offers purpose for life and a reason to re-join the human race. Jesus pushes back.
Do not allow the leporsy of isolation creep into your fragile soul. It will lead to addiction… guaranteed. There is a solution. Join 423 Communities today.
The pastel above is entitled "Eleanor Rigby" by musician and artist Mary Ann Farley whose work you can view and purchase at http://maryannfarley.com/. It is used here with Mary Ann's permission.
Contributor: Dave S.