Mother Theresa had this right. I have seen this all my life, tried my best to deal with it many years as a singles’ pastor, and experience it myself in some areas of my life today.

There is no way to buy yourself out of feelings of loneliness . . . oh, but what a pretty penny we would give. Things don’t get much darker than the silence of another’s love. Loneliness provides the foundation for all manner of depression and self-harm.

We are created in the image of a Triune God and don’t work well alone. It just a fact. I know most, who sit on the outside of this vacancy of the heart, mean well when they say, “Let Jesus be your only companion. He is all you need.” But Jesus is the one who created us with a deep desire to be known and truly loved by fellow humans. God is enough, yes. But water and crumbs are enough in the desert, aren’t they? You must understand, God’s presence is not fully with us right now the way it will be soon. Even then—even in the coming Kingdom, he makes our hearts to feel a vacancy that all the animals in the world are not enough to satisfy. Remember, when he created man, all the animals were there with him along with God himself, but Adam still felt unsatisfied. Not until he was in the presence of another human being did Adam understand what it was like to be in the image of God, and have koinonia (godly fellowship). The Father has koinonia with the Son, the Son has koinonia with the Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity is in perfect relationship with each other. The greatness of this companionship led God to share this gift with humanity, possibly his most powerful gift. God has never been lonely. We are created NOT to be lonely.

I am sorry to the many of you are lonely. Jesus may be enough, but it is only in the fact that he will fix this crooked scourge—this whip that steals the greatest of all attributes God has shared with us. The fact of its redemption brings hope for another day when the poverty of relationships will be wiped away. It was not supposed to be this way. God is fixing it.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    3 replies to "The Poverty of Loneliness"

    • James P Kahn

      An interesting point of discussion. It brings to mind the idea of a God shaped hole meant to be filled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are all created to accommodate.
      Perhaps the idea or concept of human lonliness is meant to be a baby step on the journey to know God?
      The idea of, “lacking,” appears to be the seed that spawns all motivation. This perspective is clearly touched upon in this concept of, “the poverty of lonliness.” Contentedness is not a human’s natural state. It is our perfected existence, but until we rejoin the Father some aspect of incompleteness or discontentedness will always be with us. It is our gift and our curse.
      Much love all,

    • Kim Huntington

      We live in defense mode. We are at battle spiritually and physically with death all day. We are in battle individually and corporately. It is hard to just turn those reflex defenses off and I’m not sure we should work at doing that, but the result of insulating yourself against sin, death, harm, hurt, etc. is loneliness. Self preservation equals me first. I have several relationships that are difficult that if I let down my defense and open up I will more than likely be sorry and it will be unfruitful ,even to being accused of scratching open scabs. It will be wonderful when it is fixed! and there is no need to protect ourselves from each other.

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