Friday, August 14, 2015


“There is no feeling more terrible than loneliness,
no feeling worse than the sensation
of being locked inside your own heart.”
- Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok

“Alone, as if enduring to the end
A valiant armor of scarred hopes outworn,
He stood there in the middle of the road…
He set the jug down slowly at his feet
With trembling care, knowing that most things break;
And only when assured that on firm earth
It stood, as the uncertain lives of men
Assuredly did not, he paced away,”
-“Mr. Flood’s Party” by Edwin Arlington Robinson

“Face down in the desert now there’s a cage locked around my heart
I found a way to drop the keys where my failures were
Now my hands can’t reach that far”
“Brother” by Needtobreathe

“Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
-Proverbs 13:12

Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. Aloneness is a choice. Loneliness is a state of the heart.

“Alone” is derived from the Middle English word meaning “wholly” or “all one.” A person may be part of a community and yet choose to sometimes spend time by themselves.

“Lonely” was born from the word “lone,” which was a division of the word “alone” in the 14th century. It’s meaning after this division was “having no companion, solitary.”

Depression makes wholeness seem impossible and loneliness appear inevitable. Because hope has been so long detained and “knowing that most things break,” barring doors against other hearts seems the only protection against them seeing the depressed distortion of our sick hearts. We can’t see the “tree of life” or the brother’s “love that brings me home.”

It takes an immense amount of courage to outwear the “valiant armor of scarred hopes” and face the companionship that is the only hope of moving us from lonely to alone.

“Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;”
-Psalm 27:14

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