Friday, August 9, 2013

In a Lonely Pew.

She fumbles with the keys in her pocket.
She smiles as she steps up the stairs and the door flashes open.  The cool breeze of the air conditioning touches her face and seems to reflect the feelings of her heart.

"I am here.  I am walking into a world of perfection while my world mocks me of it.
Here, where the husbands and wives serve together, teachers of the little children, ushers, nursery workers who smile as they take the children from cluttered arms,
while I struggle to juggle not my things, but my own uncomfortable thoughts."

"Where do I fit into this perfection?"

She jostles her things as she sits in the pew.
The emptiness of the seat beside her seems to yawn at her.

She is single, not by choice, but by circumstances she can't control.
He's not there, the one who would, it seems to her lonely heart, make her "perfect,"
like the others who serve.

He has either never appeared in her life,
 this unattending 'soul-mate',
or he was there and has moved on,
or at work,
or any number or reasons.

Perfection, like those around her, seems so intangible, she wants to scream,
but instead, she forces a smile as she picks up a dropped bulletin and hands it to the clumsy hand that dropped it.

She feels the weight of the loneliness by the exclusion she faces from the other couple activities around her.

It seems to push at her, board her up hopelessly, into the world of her loneliness.

And yet, if she could see into the perfect homes of the perfect ones,
she would see that loneliness has a way of hiding under the seats of the busy,
less obvious, undoubtedly, but like a smelly dog snoozing, making the owner uncomfortable with what is trying to be hidden.

Loneliness hides more easily from view beneath the weight of the babes in arms,
the piles of busy work, the consuming career,
the uncleanliness of a prideful heart.

It does not have to be the determining factor of the joy in her life. 
Loneliness can be replaced by perfect peace from a God who walked an imperfect earth as well.
And yet, He sees;
He beckons to us to come up beside.
Where do we stand when we sit in our pews of satisfaction?
When the loneliness we could know avoids us to slip it's icy fingers around our neighbor's throat?

Careless are we when we count our "blessings" to be our own work or merit.
Our boasting of blessings may be the noticeably lacking weight that another views as the trial they have been forced to carry.  

When we are lonely, may we look to the one who sees our pain;
when we are full, may we lift up the hands of the weary sitting beside us.


No lonely heart should go untouched in the house of God.

(This post was written to join in the writing at Gypsy Mama's 
where she gives the prompt and we write for five minutes.
I did not have anybody in mind while writing this,
just from observations and thoughts,
 I suppose we all have been in the seat of the lonely at some time or another.)

If you would like to see the process of the above drawing,


  1. I was a single mum for years and you described the feeling so well. It hits you in church, surrounded by seemingly happy couples and families. Linked up after you of FMF, glad I stopped by :-)

  2. HI Tonya! I am coming over from FMF.

    What a powerful piece you wrote! I want to come over and hug that lady (you?) and invite her over for breakfast. You are right, no one is alone , because we have the Lord. But the Lord needs hands and feet to help him out. I hope there are plenty of those for people who need that hug and a smile.

    So nice to meet you today!

  3. What wonderful and colorful writing! So descriptive that it was me walking in those thoughts!

  4. A great reminder to all of us - single or not - to reach out even just to smile and say a friendly "hello" to those around us... Sharing Christ's love in simple ways.

  5. This is just beautiful. I love these lines most: "When we are lonely, may we look to the one who sees our pain; when we are full, may we lift up the hands of the weary sitting beside us."

    YES. Yes, yes.

    Thank you for this.

    (Coming over from FMF)

  6. Amen.

    And beautifully said.


  7. Thank you for posting this today. I have been that lonely woman in church, I have also left at the end of church services just as lonely. Please church pay attention to the lonely and invite them home with you for lunch or even coffee. The church needs to be open to the imperfect ones in their midst, the ones who perhaps don't fit their "perfect" lives. Thank God, He loves us even when we don't fit in, in this world. We are complete in Christ, we are His bride. He will love us for all eternity. We are children of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Amazing love how can it be, that Christ should shed His blood for me.
    Jacquelene L

  8. Beautiful words.

  9. That was lovely - and a good reminder.

  10. This is absolutely beautiful.


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