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Loneliness & The Cry of The Heart

“I think the most common cause of insomnia is simple; it’s loneliness.” – Heath Ledger

One of my favorite films is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” starring Ben Stiller. This may sound ridiculous, but I think I relate to him more than any other fictional character I’ve seen on screen. Walter wants to live for more, but he’s not sure what that even means. He dreams of adventure, but he’s constantly conflicted with obligations of normalcy. Walter comes to realize the beauty found in the mundane routines of life, realizing that there is life even there.

The greatest similarity? Walter feels constantly alone, lost within the dreams inside his head. If there has ever been a way for me to describe my wandering soul in complete honesty, I would confess that I have felt truly alone for most of my life.

There are those who claim that human beings are mere animals, constantly evolving, yet lacking anything beyond the material world. I completely disagree. What is it that longs for love, hope, and something (or someone) beyond ourselves? Why do we constantly feel that something is missing in the depth of our being?

My wife is the most beautiful human being I’ve ever encountered, both body and soul. We spend so much time together, talking about life, dreaming of the future, and pursuing our dreams. Yet, even in the middle of a relationship with my other half, loneliness still finds me…Why?

The older I get, the more I am convinced that loneliness is the cry of the soul, desperate for the living God.

Have you ever been in the middle of a crowd, yet desperately alone?

Were there moments in your life where you felt as if no one understood you?

Did you ever consider yourself a misfit in the company of “normal” people?

In the Hebrew Scriptures, even the greatest heroes of faith wrestled with the loneliness that comes with living in a world that is broken.

“Listen, GOD, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: ‘Be good to me! Answer me!’ When my heart whispered, ‘Seek God,’ my whole being replied, ‘I’m seeking him!’ Don’t hide from me now! You’ve always been right there for me; don’t turn your back on me now. Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me; you’ve always kept the door open. My father and mother walked out and left me, but GOD took me in.” – Psalm 27:9-10

Christians often say, “When you meet Jesus, our souls are satisfied in Him”. I agree, yet not completely…Finding complete satisfaction in God while we live on such a fallen planet is like drinking water and never needing to be refreshed again. Our souls are constantly longing for God, not just a single encounter.

As my favorite band U2 once said in the song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”:

“I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well yes I’m still running

You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” 

As you journey through this life searching for God, never forget that your soul longs for Him day and night, minute by minute. Seek Him. He’s not hiding from you. God doesn’t make mistakes and you are most definitely one of His prize creations.

It’s OK to be lonely, for it reminds us that we were meant for more than ourselves.