When Oddity and Loneliness Hold Hands

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Let’s talk loneliness. Being alone can feel maddening at times. Why do you think people in solitary confinement end up with serious problems? New York City can sometimes feel like the loneliest place in the world. Sometimes, it is pointless to escape the white walls and fluorescent lamps of your studio for a bustling park where you sit on a bench with the same look on your face– the difference being, now, you have a squirrel next to you.

Loneliness makes people settle in relationships with shallow people. Loneliness can also be a school. It teaches you to know and be comfortable with yourself. This scares everyone else around you. It may even make the server at a restaurant give you a pity-filled look when you tell him or her you only need a table for one.

It’s strange how sometimes we really want to be alone; strange how despite this, we still want someone understanding us, sharing with us. Decisions are made more confidently when the plan is consulted with someone. There can be wisdom and power in numbers.

Is loneliness something we ever outgrow? What about that silence with oneself which is comfortable and peaceful, all at once; after all, being alone doesn’t mean lonely. Is it weird that we feel alone, even though we never really walk alone? 

“All great and precious things are lonely.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Didn’t Jesus himself pray alone in the garden? Didn’t He bring three to keep watch, yet none prayed behind Him? 

‘Tis midnight, and on Olive’s brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
‘Tis midnight; in the garden now,
The suffering Savior prays alone.
‘Tis midnight, and from all removed
The Savior wrestles lone with fears;
E’en the disciple whom He loved
Heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.
– William B. Tappan

A.W. Tozer once wrote, “Most of the world’s great souls have been lonely…Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.”

Tozer wrote in “The Saint Must Walk Alone” that perhaps spiritual people feel lonely because they are at odds with those around them.

“The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity.” A.W. Tozer

The problem with some, he wrote, is they feel at home with the world, and they “lose their pilgrim character”. And so, as they try to fit in where they do not fit, they end up missing out on who they ought to be. Meanwhile, the rest of the world recognizes them for who they really are, someone who doesn’t fit.

This is not about pride or people thinking they are better than others. It is about a choice regarding life’s purpose, the seeking of truth, the desire to be different and care about others before oneself. This makes people peculiar, and it often makes others uncomfortable.

If being peculiar is what you desire, then, it’s okay to walk the path at odds with everyone else. Priorities require sacrifice. But always remember, the Greatest One walked alone so you wouldn’t have to.

God says:

/When you walk down the road
Heavy burden, heavy load
I will rise and I will walk with you

When you walk through the night
And you feel like you wanna just give up, give up, give up on the fight
I will come and I will walk with you

Walk with you
Until the sun don’t even shine
Walk with you
I’ll be there all the time
I tell you I’ll walk with you
See you through

When you walk from this place
And you gotta go to meet Him face to face
Take my hand and I will walk with you

Oh, oh walk with you
Till the clouds fade away
I tell you I ‘ll walk with you
Each and every day
Oh yes I’ll walk with you

Oh, oh oh when nobody cares
I’ll be right there by your side
If all your hope is lost
I’m the one that’s gonna help you see the light
Just look into my eyes
Please know you’re not alone
I’m here, I’m here by your side

Walk with you
I’ll be there all the time, I’m gonna walk with you
Walk with you
I’ll be there until the clouds just fade away
Walk with you
I’ll be there every day, every day, every day, every day
Walk with you
I’ll be with you all the while
Walk with you
Be right there through the longest mile

Walk with you
I will walk with you yes I will, yes I will, yes I will, I will
Walk with you
I will walk with you
I tell you I’ll be there and I will
Walk with you
Believe me I’ll be there and I’ll walk with you, yes I will/

I Will Walk With You, Della Reese

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