by One Blue Horse
I woke up this morning with that same feeling in my gut of loss and hopelessness, loneliness and despair. I didn’t want to be awake or get up. Some mornings like that I just turn over and go back to sleep hence ridding myself of a few empty hours in that day. But it bites me at the end of the day when I can’t sleep and there is nothing on TV and I’ve read until my eyes hurt and watched teaching videos I have memorized from repetition.
This morning was a little different because right at the end of my sleep I had a dream and I found myself answering that nagging feel of despair that crushes me every morning when I awake. Not fixing it by any means but putting a closure of sorts on it.
In the dream, I was standing near the water. A friend, who is real, was just getting out of her boat. In reality my friend does not have a boat or live anywhere near a body of water. This is just a dream. She says to me, “oh, that was really nice out there, I will have to take you out for a ride some day when I “have time” but I’m so busy it won’t be for a few months”.
In the dream I said to her, “I don’t want to go out on the boat with you in a few months, I’d like to do it sooner. I could have gone this time. You could make time if you really wanted to. We all set our priorities and make time for what we truly want to do. So please don’t tell me that we will do it later because you know we won’t or we already would have.”
I woke up immediately (before she answered) and thought of all the people I call friends who don’t have enough time to have coffee, come by, have me over, text me, or call me, because they are all too busy and have no time. I even said to one of them in frustration, “TIME seems to be the operative word with all of you guys. I wish I could give you some of mine as I have way too much of it”.
To me it is kinder to say nothing than to make promises about spending time with people and then not doing it. If you say to them you will do this or that, then make the time to do it or don’t promise it. I actually have to text a couple of my “friends” to ask for an appointment to call them to talk. One person gave me a time I could talk which I couldn’t do and then got upset with me saying, “I give you as much time as I can and I offered you a time slot (my word) the other day and you didn’t take it and that is all I had.” Is that how we treat friends? Like patients coming in for a consultation?
Christmas brings out the best and the worst in life I think. Here in Australia everyone seems to have about 6 weeks off from all work and obligations, to do whatever they enjoy.
During those six weeks I heard so many versions of finding time for me that never happened. I’m glad it is finally over and they can all be genuinely without TIME due to actually working and being busy in their family/work life.
I heard; “we are going to take you out for lunch in appreciation for …, I should be caught up and have time to visit with you at the end of the month …, I have two more weeks with my grand-kids and then we should go out for coffee …, we should get together during my break and have coffee …, we will have you over for dinner … none of them eventuated and I didn’t think they would. I really hoped that they would but from past experience I didn’t hold my breath.
So I have concluded that if people wanted to make TIME for you they would. If they don’t then they simply don’t want to. I believe they want to do it at the time but it isn’t something they can put ahead of other things … not enough time. I go to church and everyone is so glad to see me …, they have missed me and we need to get together. That has become acceptable lifestyle “party talk” even at church.
I think they feel somewhere inside that they should do differently but they have set a priority list in their minds and they can’t deviate from that list. They have callings and ministries and obligations and family and the loner in the church just doesn’t fit into the schedule of their lives. Yeah he or she is nice and even interesting and fun but they just don’t fit in any of their time slots. The best they can do is express what they would like to do if they could.
Those people in the outer ring of society just don’t fit in so they are promised the brass ring but they can never reach quite far enough to grab it on their own.
In church they have their own social media style #hashtags to make up for their lack of time, in a form of micro talking: #Well, Jesus is always with you …, #you are never alone …, #God wants you to get closer to Him (one of my all-time favorites) …, #you should get a job …, #you should volunteer for something …, and the list goes on.
I saw a quote the other day that says it all for me: “A little boy was frightened by a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. He called out to his mother who reminded him that Jesus was with him. “I know Jesus is with me,” the child said, “but I need Jesus with skin on.”
That expressed the depth of my heart cry when people say that to me. I know it is true but we as humans need Jesus with skin on some times. We need that human touch; eye contact, hug, cup of coffee or meal; someone to cry or laugh with or to just share life with. Things are so much better when you have someone to share them with.
Loving each other is at the top on God’s “to do” list. 1 Peter 4:8-9 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
That is a two way command and we must love and forgive those who don’t find time for us. I had to deal with that recently because God showed me that having offense against them for not having time for me was just as bad to Him as them saying but not doing.
It isn’t easy to be alone and I have no real answers as we all seem to have to take that road with God and allow Him to work it out for us. There is no quick answer for me when I wake up in the morning with that dread of another day alone knowing I probably won’t hear from anyone I know. Sometimes I decide to see how long before someone will contact me and I’ve gone for over a week but I usually break down and contact them first as I can’t stand the silence!
But every morning when I get up and go about my day, Jesus is with me and He puts things in my path like a prophetic word or a scripture, a smile from a stranger when I’m shopping, something that makes me laugh on TV, reports of how God is moving in lives, a worship song or a teaching that was written just for me! When I’m out among people, my American accent always opens a chance to talk to someone I don’t know. I call those my little gems that God puts in my hand to let me know He is with me and will never leave me, even if He doesn’t have skin!