I tend to like having time alone depending on what I am doing.

Sounds conflicted, doesn’t it?

One of the things I value so much about my new marriage is our ability to be together quietly.

Nothing is forced. We don’t have to talk for the sake of creating noise. We can each be doing what we want and are completely comfortable just knowing the other is near.

That shared look across the room communicates volumes (and truth be known makes my heart race).
I am grateful for her continued presence in my life.

Sometimes I like solitude.
Often I like peace and tranquility.
But never, ever do I like being lonely.

When I remarried, the tongues wagged (and so did the keyboards). I heard from numerous folks how “men just don’t do well alone.” As if the only reason I married again so quickly was to fill a void in my life. But hey, if they were talking about me they were giving somebody else a much need break.

Can I get an amen?

Was there a void in my life? Yes.
Did I get married just to fill it (or have a momma figure for my boys)? No.

Not being lonely is important to me, but not so important that I would jump into something rash just so I wouldn’t be alone.

All that being said, I married Becki because it was obvious we had a deep, deep connection. It was crystal clear that together, neither of us would ever be lonely again. We have a good marriage. We are a good team.

Three Dog Night (Yes, I am that old) once sang one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

Real lonely hurts deep. You can be lonely by yourself. You can be lonely in a crowd. You can be lonely in a relationship. You can be lonely preaching for a church. You can be lonely when your greatest needs, desires, and expectations are unmet.

Don”t believe me? Just ask.

Ask the wife who hasn’t had a meaningful conversation with her husband in years.
Ask the preacher who is shriveling on the vine for lack of real friendship among the people he serves.
Ask the single person who is desperately tired of having no one to share their heart.
Ask the woman who wants a child what it is like to be surrounded by other women and their children.
Ask the step-parent who wants nothing more than to be able to love the children of his or her spouse.
Ask the man, woman, or child whose emptiness wants more than anything to hear a word from God.

There are people all around you–some even close–who are so lonely they could scream.

Have you ever noticed?

Pain and tragedy creates loneliness. And sometimes others are so uncomfortable with your pain that they unintentionally create distance making the loneliness that much more profound.

There is a very real chance that nothing you can say or do will alleviate that particular pain. But at least by being present, the loneliness might not be so, well, lonely.

Each of us has the ability to speak to the loneliness present in our world.

Will you?

Les Ferguson, Jr.