An Eleanor Rigby Kind of Life

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?
(Eleanor Rigby, The Beatles)

There are so many tragedies just waiting to happen. Most of them do. Every single day there is news of heartbreak and loss. Of families who wait for the one who will never come home again.

If accidents and evil people weren’t enough, there is always a hodgepodge of sickness and human frailty looking to claim another victim.

Heart Disease
Cancer
Diabetes
There are not enough pages to list all the possible and potential life altering, life ending medical conditions.

It’s a crapshoot and all of those things are sickening when they become our reality.

Personally, I am worn out by heartache, worry, and fear. I am so weary of the constant sense of impending doom. Of wondering what’s next…

But, I digress.

In a world of broken hearts, lives, and dreams, I think there is a greater calamity. I didn’t see it for much of my life. I certainly didn’t understand it. And if the truth be told, I didn’t want to…

If it was painful then; it is doubly, triply painful now.
It’s a condition that happens as a result of brokenness.
It is often hidden behind a slick mask of happiness, a false bravado, or a facade of joy.

It is called loneliness.

But even using that word connotes something that, while hurtful and undesirable, is just a situation you have to get used to or worse, find an answer for… (i.e., fix it!)

And the advice often given?
Get out of yourself…
Make a new friend…
Find a new activity…
Blah, Blah, Blah…

All of that is well and good, but it fails to answer the root cause of loneliness–it makes the lonely seem somehow week for being lonely in the first place. It completely misses, disregards, or denies the loneliness of loss, hurt, pain, and the perceived absence of God.

And that my friends is the loneliest place on earth…

Loneliness, the great calamity? Absolutely. You betcha. Yes, sir, don’t say maybe…
And that’s often found within the church–of any denomination or stripe. Can you imagine how lonely the lonely are without even a church family to call on?

This is for all the lonely people
Thinking that life has passed them by
Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
And ride that highway in the sky

This is for all the single people
Thinking that love has left them dry
Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
You never know until you try

Well, I’m on my way yes, I’m back to stay
Well, I’m on my way back home, hit it

This is for all the lonely people
Thinking that life has passed them by
Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup
And never take you down or never give you up
You never know until you try
(Lonely People–America)

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