The Lonely Ones

↓   The Lonely Ones!  ↓

A lonely beach in Mozambique
A lonely beach in Mozambique

This is a beach where one could be all alone.  Two preachers and I were here and as far as we could see up and down this sandy beach no one was sharing it with us! 

This post is about a man that did not want to be alone.

“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!” Jesus is telling the story of “The Prodigal Son”. Luke 15:16-17 (my underline)

 Food is not the issue here, it’s loneliness! Not one person was willing to meet his need. Friends were plenty when the money was flowing but when that was gone they left him! Later they saw him hungry and “…no one gave him anything”

I am currently re-reading Henri J. M. Nouwen book titled; The Return of the Prodigal Son. In it he penned this line:
“Real loneliness comes when we have lost all sense of having things in common”. 

Having things in common with others serves as connecting links in building relationships. By my very nature I’m prone to give advice and answers. Perhaps I should examine how to weave a connecting thread to the person who stands before me. Maybe I should dwell more on the commonality between myself and those I wish to connect with. Quite possibly I differ in so many ways that there is a chance I could learn some things from this person.

This lonely prodigal son standing in the pig-pen had no one to hand him food to eat. Real friendships are not held together by superficial means, the thread is connection! The Prodigal had deserted his father and now the far country had deserted him. But he had one slim connection left. Maybe he could go back? 

The registry of the lonely in our world is filled with names! People all around us are seeking caring relationships with others. Many people are craving for a connection with someone. Could I/we be the thread that connects these lonely ones into a network of  friends?

The Prodigal’s connecting thread, though slim at best, was the common bond of his families’ history. It brought him home to a great feast and acceptance. Common threads that weave people together build strong relationships. What are we prepared to do and when?

Lord, I pray that we are  mindful of those that are lonely. Help us to exhibit the father’s love that set his feet running to embrace his returning son.

Welcome to the richer side of life.







10 thoughts on “The Lonely Ones

  1. Rich, I appreciate how you connected the story of the Prodigal with this topic.

    During the past few years, my step mom, mother and one of my dearest friends passed away. My sister with whom I’m especially bonded suffered a massive stroke, affecting her “big sister-ness.” And dear co-laborers / friends moved from the area.

    In my ministry and public speaking roles, I’m surrounded by many people; one can feel all alone in a crowd. The absence of my mother, my sister, my friends and co-laborers left a gaping hole in my life.

    There is consolation, however. During my season of grieving their absence, I was drawn closer to Christ; I found great comfort in His Word and Presence. And old friendships with women of faith were rekindled. This may never have happened if everything had remained the same.

    I’m thankful the Lord allowed my sister to remain on this side of heaven. She is a miracle in progress–because of God’s healing power, she’s recovering what she lost, and I’m recovering my special place in her life as the “little” sister of a protective, wiser (older) sister.

    Looking to Jesus and reaching out to our connections with others gets us through the trials of life. Blessings to you, Pamela

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, Jesus has said that He will never leave us nor will He forsake us. We do find His grace in times of need just as you have so aptly written about. Blessings, Richard

  2. Barry says:

    Thanks Richard to you I have learned to connect….connect in such a way that I learned to “be there”. To “be there” means to be focused on the person you are connecting with. Your thoughts are there. Your conversation indicates you are there. You have been there for many people…..Sue and me being just two.

    Good blog. Thanks for publishing these.

  3. says:

    Dear Richard:

    Rich Sense, sure makes sense! And, it is Rich! How are you? We really miss you.


    Jack & Audrey

    1. Hello Jack and Audrey, Anytime I’m ready for coffee with dear friends. If you’re ever in my area let me know. Always have appreciated the two of you. Blessings, Richard

  4. Tom Armstrong says:

    Amazing at how timely this is to me. I just had a conversation today with a very lost young man who was lamenting with me about how some of his closet friends have abandoned him.

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