In my spare time, I enjoy watching certain TV shows. I particularly enjoy anime (Japanese cartoons). One of them I enjoy is called Naruto, a show which chronicles the story of a young boy as he grows up into a man. I am always struck at how TV shows portray reality; there are many lessons we can learn and warnings to be given at how they continuously misportray reality. This show, however, strikes a nerve when it deals with loneliness. Particularly, it shows the depths one character went to avoid it.
The character’s name was Sasori. He was a young boy from a desert village whose parents were killed when we was just a child. He was raised by his grandmother, but he was constantly reminded of his lack of parents via the example of other families around him. His grandmother, Chiyo, eventually tried to help her grieving grandson by teaching the art of the Puppet Master: Sasori would learn to craft puppets and learn how to wield them in battle (yes, anime has battle puppets; don’t ask why). What Chiyo didn’t know, however, was that Sasori’s first puppets would not be battle puppets. His first puppets were actually replicas of his parents: he created them so he could imagine what it would have been like for his parents to hold him and rock him to sleep. Of course, they were just puppets in the end, and that realization came crashing down on the young boy (literally, as the puppets collapsed into dead weight).
What this situation helps to show us as believers is how real the notion of loneliness is. Whether you are single, a newly wed, or a senior saint, no one is immune from the sting of this blade. It cuts deep. We feel as if we are alone in a world that cannot possibly understand us. We run to various things to attempt to fill the void: pornography, beer, heroine, an affair, etc. However, each of these attempts to stave off loneliness fail, just like Sasori’s dolls; they fail because they do not address the issue. Loneliness is real, but the cure for it is found in the pages of Scripture. Notice what Isaiah says:
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
This is the cure of loneliness. It is the recognition that we are not, in fact alone. We are accompanied by the Lord of Heaven and Earth, by Yahweh, the Eternal God who stands with us when all others forsake us and Who has promised to hold us up. Let this be your balm, Christian. Let this soothe your lonely soul.