There are all sorts of ways that we can sometimes feel alone. Perhaps the easiest to point to is how we can feel alone at night in an empty house. But we can also feel alone in the middle of room full of people gathered for a company holiday party. Sometimes it has little to do with the people around us, like when we feel alone even when we are surrounded by our closest friends. Sometimes it has a lot to do with the company we are keeping, like when we feel alone while visiting the home of a family member who does not accept us. The point is we all feel lonely sometimes.
As we enter the holiday season which can bring many joys but also some loneliness, I encourage you to remember that you are never alone...even though we all feel lonely sometimes. In those moments when your heart is aching, in those moments when you wish someone would slow down and really see you, or in those times when your entire body seems to scream out for someone to just hold you so you know you are safe and loved...in whatever form those painful lonely feelings may take in you, remember you are never alone.
It may sound trite, but it is one of the truest things: God is always with us. God is within us, sometimes longing for us to turn and run into the already open arms of Love. If you have a lonely moment this holiday season, I encourage you to try this visualization...
Close your eyes and try to visualize every detail, every feeling, every sound, of climbing up in the lap of Jesus and being held. Try things like this: In your mind's eye try to see the way the clothes are laying on Jesus's chest as you lay your head there. Can you smell the detergent? Maybe cologne? Is the shirt he is wearing soft? What do you hear? A heartbeat? His breathing? Maybe Jesus is softly humming one of your favorite songs? Is he gently rocking you? Rubbing your head? Scratching you back? Does he say something to you or does he simply hold you in his arms knowing that his embrace speaks more than any words? What do you notice in your visualization?
While Jesus is not physically with you each day, this visualization is an invitation to remember that Jesus is with you always--that you are never alone. The loving embrace of God is always awaiting you. This holiday season, I give thanks for the strong and loving arms of Jesus that are as near as the next moment that we choose to close our eyes and think of him.