The trinity might be the most perplexing and for the nonbeliever nearly abhorrent philosophies of the Christian lifestyle. How can one God coexist in three separate God’s? How is one, many? Some call it polytheistic at best, some atrocious and illogical at worst, and most people call it confusing no matter what.
I fall into none of these camps, not because I understand the inner workings of a complex God who transcends and supersedes reality in all ways, but because to me it just kind of makes sense. For some reason, to me, perhaps my own naivety or simplicity of mind, the concept of a triune God sufficiently explains how one God can accomplish tasks that normally would not be able to be accomplished through the actions of that same God. What I didn’t realize until recently was how perfectly analogous it is to relationships in life and love. And wholly antithetical to the concept of loneliness.
The great American Psychiatrist, Sullivan, described loneliness as… “the exceedingly unpleasant and driving experience connected with inadequate discharge of the need for human intimacy.” He then goes on to discuss that “the fact that loneliness will lead to integrations in the face of severe anxiety automatically means that loneliness in itself is more terrible than anxiety.” Though I do not quite understand all of Sullivan’s descriptions emotionally, I can definitely say that I have recently experienced the pangs of loneliness, like tunnels being dug throughout my body, hollowing me out while breaking down my insides, leaving parts of me to collapse daily.
I deserve it though… I have read the journal entries that were penned using inkwells of tears filling bottles of sadness, that were written with trembling hands in beautiful penmanship. I caused great loneliness in the heart of an even greater woman. I can imagine her… Sitting on the couch, having recently lost the daughter we had together, just pouring her heart out to God, writing between sobs, praying so fervently and seeking the scriptures for an answer to my betrayals. There was only one answer though… Sin.
Loneliness. It’s like a social disease. It’s like a spiritual cancer. An emotional disorder. And it sucks all you have dry until there is nothing left. It’s a wasteland. I was pernicious. I was ruinous to her. And I left her. I deserve to be the wreck. The wreck of the Hesperus. The arrogant captain aboard his schooner, tossed around by a hurricane. No harbor for this weary vessel. No lighthouse to guide the remainders of a storm-battled ship. Nobody to mend the tattered sails that once gripped the wind and confidently guided me… “Such was the wreck of the Hesperus, in the midnight and the snow! Christ save us all from a death like this, on the reef of Norman’s woe.”
Enter a triune God.
I recently pondered the idea of the word soul-mate. Could one person wholly address the needs of another? How do Nonchristians deal with the concepts of soul-mates and fate? Do they place all of their hope and trust and need in one person? I think they do. And I think that leaves them wanting. I believe that the reason so many unbelievers get divorced is because they place their faith and hopes and dreams into one single person and attempt to fulfill themselves through them. I know a woman who wants to be the epitome of what a guy wants. She wants to be the sole reason for his existence. She wants to be his consummation, he being consumed in her completely. She wants to be the fire that burns him up.
But even God has community. Which is also how He wants us. He wants us to be in community with others. One person cannot satisfy all of your needs. A guy who has no wife does not have the intimacy that God designed us to have. Similarly, a guy who loses his mom or dad does not have the parental support and love that those who have parents crave. There are roles of guy friends and girlfriends that also fulfill desires that nobody else can. We are made to be communal people, satisfying innate desires that have been preprogrammed. Because God is.
And that same God. That same God who designed love. That same God that birthed universes and stretched galaxies and breathed planets. That same God that whispered wonderful and wild worlds, that same God who named his people and guided them as his first dirt-formed son named each animal one by one. He created His people to enjoy the communion He had been enjoying with Himself for eternity past.
Loneliness is a terrible thing. It’s spiritual, emotional, and mental torture. I have sat in an empty house, eerily quiet, the blades of our ceiling fan swatting the air like it was a fly, knowing that a year previous both of my parents sat at our breakfast bar sharing stories of what life was like 30 years ago and all of us laughing together. Even now, I walk the hallway that I once crawled down. The colors of the walls and the carpet is different, and the dehumidifier is since removed, and the pictures have been taken down, but it’s the same hallway that my dad carried me down for bed 30 years ago. The same hallway whose closet used to be filled with Christmas presents every year. The same hallway whose walls I’d scale back and forth in an attempt to be spiderboy.
Loneliness is horrifying, and that’s why it’s not meant to be dwelled in.
“What I’ve figured out is that when you love somebody that much, that hard, that long, you can never get away from them, no matter where you go. And that only comes once in a lifetime.” ~ We bought a Zoo.
And I gave lonely so I deserve. I caused lonely so my effect should be lonely. I made her ache, so ache I shall. I made her cry so my tears should be greater still. I made anxious so my worry should be a lumbering giant. I wasn’t there and so I deserve to be left with nobody. I have found myself in the midst of crisis. In a few short months I will have no home. No place to rest my weary head. No permanent place to call my own. Nothing. I will have nothing soon and nowhere to go. And my heart feels the pain of loneliness as it continues to creep in like a plague of insects.
Yet. One thing remains. Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me. And on and on and on and on it goes. Yes it overwhelms and satisfies my soul. And I’ll never ever have to be afraid. One thing remains. Yes one thing, remains.
Loneliness is terrifying, but communion with God devours that which is most terrifying. I miss her love. I miss her. I miss her eyes. Her face. Her cheeks. Her lips. Her hair. Her soft touch. I miss her laugh and her voice and her messages. I miss her in every way possible. And I love her more than ever. Her absence has left a new sense of loneliness, but His communion is at the heart of overcoming all.
“Sometime loneliness comes to us when we forget the fact that God is our supreme companion.”
“My flesh tells me I’m lonely, but my faith reminds me I’m not alone.”