When all of the sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory
And I realized just how beautiful You are
And how great your affections are for me.
(Jesus Culture – How He Loves Us)
For weeks until last week, I have been feeling a bit off in some incomprehensible way. I couldn’t really point out what it really was but it made me feel a couple of things – some intangible, some concrete.
One of the concrete things it made me feel is loneliness.
I feel as if I have no friends.
(Well, aside from a couple of people who I rarely see or spend time with.)
At work, I feel so alone.
From having a solid group of friends, it seems now that I have none.
Whenever I approach people, I feel as if they just talk to me out of politeness. They entertain me but don’t totally let me in. I’m never involved in their lives. I’m never a part of it.
Reaching out has made me feel a bit tired.
I say they only remember me when there’s something they want to make happen – a baby shower for someone (though I did want a baby shower for someone), a farewell surprise for another, a congratulatory celebration for people who’ll be taking their board exams, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing these things for them. I just hope that I could be more than someone who can make these things happen.
When I’m not there, no one will really – like really – miss me.
No one needs me for me.
Everyone just seems to need me for what I can do.
Then last Wednesday, a friend of mine asked me if I have something to do after work. I said I’m free and teased her about missing me. She said, “Yes.”
I wasn’t totally excited but I was happy.
I looked forward to it.
After work, we walked around outside our building to find a place to eat a very late dinner. We found one and talked. She told me about some stuff that she’s finding it hard to share to other people. I gave her my own views, explained some of her whys, and shared some of my own stuff.
It was just a couple of hours but I was filled with so much joy.
The next morning, I told a very close friend of mine about it.
I said that invitation for the late dinner meant so much to me, because at that moment I was someone else’s friend.
I was missed because we weren’t spending that much time with each other. I make someone else’s day happy and complete. I was important because I’m the only one who she could share some things with at that particular time.
I was a friend who, at that time, didn’t have to be the one who reached out but a friend who was reached out to.
That friend I shared these feelings with told me that it was God’s gift to me. I didn’t see it that way and I was thankful that she was able to make me look at it like that. So, I prayed to God and thanked Him for it.
As I was thanking Him, I realized something.
Does God feel lonely too…
When He reaches out to people only to be just being entertained for a little while?
When He realizes He’s still not a part of that person’s life after talking to him or her?
When He is simply someone people need when they want to make something happen?
When He feels no one misses Him even for a little when they don’t spend time with Him?
On the other hand…
When we invite Him for a very late dinner,
When we reach out to Him and shared our problems and thoughts to Him,
When we need Him for who He is instead of what He can do,
When we treat Him like a friend,
Does He feel overwhelmed with so much joy too as if His heart would burst?
While asking Him these questions, I was crying.
When I shared these thoughts to my friend, my eyes were glazed with tears.
I have known since who-knows-when that God loves us so much – greatly and unconditionally.
He sacrificed His son to save us from our sins. He forgives us repeatedly despite our stubbornness. He reaches out to us continuously and tirelessly even though we reject Him over and over again.
However, that day, it’s as if it’s the first time all over again of learning about the kind of love He has for us.
These thoughts still overwhelm me until now. Even last Sunday, while the worship team was singing “How He Loves Us” for the communion, I remember these once again and I couldn’t help but cry.
I pray that people will welcome Him and involve Him in their lives because having Him brings so much happiness, joy, and peace.
I pray that people will see God more than just their provided and problem-solver. I pray that people will see God as their best friend.