On Isolation

Today’s Our Daily Bread had some interesting things to say about the topic of isolation.  The author of today’s devotional was Bill Crowder.  He states:

“Whether isolated by our own choices, by the cultural trends that surround us, or by painful losses of life, all who know Christ can rest in the presence of the Shepherd of our hearts.  What a friend we have in Jesus!…Those who know Jesus as their Friend are never alone.”

I found this to be a refreshing alternative to judgmental things that I have read by evangelicals about loners: that they are selfish, that they are not truly following Christ, that their failure to reach out to others will result in nobody helping them when they need help or coming to their funeral, etc.

One could object that today’s devotion neglects the importance of human companionship, that God did not expect for Adam to find fulfillment in God alone but created Eve to keep him company.  Fair enough, but there are plenty of people who find themselves alone.  There may be a variety of reasons: death of loved ones, living away from family, temperament, Asperger’s, a cold world, etc.  In the same way that we should not judge those who crave human companionship because they find that just praying to God does not make them feel better, we should also not judge those whose only company is God.

Still, we should try to make the world less cold than it is.  And being alone can have its disadvantages: there are things that I do not know, for example, and so I have appreciated the times when I could draw from the knowledge, experiences, and savvy of others.  There is a group where I live, and its aim is to do services for people who lack a social or family support network.  This group is vital, and there should be more groups like it.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to On Isolation

  1. I really like this; the word and the idea “alone” is not singular, there are so many meanings to it and reasons for it. I always question the rush to judgement, how can anyone judge? I am filled with too many questions to ever judge, having said that, I think that the only time that I find myself judging another is when I feel that the person is being mean or deliberately cruel. Why should anyone be judged for their need to be alone of just for the fact that they are alone? Great post James 🙂


  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Thank you for your insights, Laurie. 🙂


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