For the first time in months, I am writing my Five Minute Friday on Friday. Usually, I am online until midnight east-coast time with friends I have yet to meet in real life. Friends that I have made in the midst of this writing community. Friends who surround and encourage me. But last night I shared my time with some real life girlfriends as we celebrated a milestone as one of our number became a grandmother for the first time. This gathering of hilarity and comfort was a respite at the end of a difficult week. But in the midst of it all, I couldn’t help but sneak a peek to see what the prompt from Lisa-Jo Baker would be; I couldn’t quite leave the habit of my Thursday night vigil:
Write for five minutes flat. Don’t over think. Don’t over edit. Post it. Link it. Share it. Visit the writer ahead of you – share the encouragement, share the love. Come back and do it again next week.
This Week: Lonely
Sometimes our most difficult moments of isolation come when we seem most surrounded. Our lives pulse and surge with business and activity; we are organized to the enth degree – always on the go; we are planned and calendared out for weeks and months at a time. Play dates, dinners, meetings, doctors appointments, family gatherings, small group nights, girlfriend nights out. Good times. Even when difficult times strike, we hardly have time to catch our breath, because there is no pause button – there is hardly time to gather our strength to go on.
Because that’s what it so often feels like, doesn’t it? That we just have to keep going on.
We don’t have time for the aching that wells beneath us. That sharp stab that strikes in the line at the grocery store as you look at the carts around you and imagine the dinners, breakfasts, and snacks in the lives you’ll never visit and you think, “no one knows.”
No matter what it is: chronic illness, a death in the family, extended unemployment, a child in trouble, feeling friendless, or just not knowing where to turn, it is so easy to feel as if we’re the only one going through the hard times. And in a sense, we’re right. Our individual lives mean that each situation looks a little different. But we’re never alone.
Our friends around us have been through something. Maybe not our exact something, but most, if not all of us have known suffering. And even if we’re feeling completely friendless and alone, there is One who will not leave us who has truly known suffering and has compassion for us.
But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us. Isaiah 53:4a
Compassion’s roots literally mean “to suffer together” and herein lies the balm for that awful ache and stabbing pain. Together. Alongside. With. In community.
We are not meant to be alone. We are created to be together – to support and nurture each other. To have compassion for one another.
Take a moment this week to look around you. There may be someone in the middle of their busy life who is hurting and feeling alone; who needs someone lie you to reach out with a hand or a hug or a kind word. It’s amazing how sometimes that’s all it takes.
How to Join:
Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community