LONELINESS IS A WASTE OF TIME
(Tuesday, December 12)
“Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, ‘I see men like trees, walking.’ Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, ‘Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.’” (Mk 8:22-26)
Why does our Lord lead the blind man out of the town, and away from his friends that brought him to Christ? One of the reasons, I think, was that the blind man needed to be alone with the Lord, in order to be healed. The blind man needed to surrender to this Stranger, who took him by the hand and led him he-knew-not-where, in order to see.
Isn’t this what God does with all of us, every now and then, when He draws us aside or away from our habitual activities or community; when we fall sick and need to stay in bed, or more painfully, when we lose a beloved friend through rejection or betrayal or death? Do we sometimes find ourselves alone in the wilderness? I think it’s like Israel was led out to wander in the wilderness, so that God could “speak to her heart” and make Himself known to her. This was a gradual process, as it was with the blind man, who did not immediately (re)gain vision.
Today, let me surrender to God’s will for me, that I come to see and trust His companionship more, if He makes me feel my solitude. We might be given to feel our solitude even in crowded places and feel alone in a crowd. When I feel this way, let me gratefully receive it as my Lord’s tap on my shoulder; as the touch of His hand, taking my hand and leading me “out of the town,” so that I can return home with a clearer vision. It’s not the time to bemoan loneliness; it’s the time to be restored in solitude. “Loneliness” is not from God, while solitude is. In time, in God’s time, I will return “into the town” and be more effective there, as a seeing person. Rather than wasting time on bemoaning loneliness, or seeking companionship where it is not forthcoming, let me receive any alone-time with God as an opportunity to wake up to His presence in my life; to be “restored and see everyone clearly.”