I have never really been left alone. Sure there are times when my parents dropped me off on the side of a deserted road in the woods and drove off…but my brother was with me. But even then, they always came back for us…though it was probably just for the tax deduction. Certainly there are times when as a child I wanted my siblings to “leave me alone,”…I mean do you have any idea what it is like to be the second oldest, but largest, strongest, smartest, kindest and most thoughtful of my parents’ four children? It’s tough…it always seemed that I as the one who was picked on…if anyone tells you otherwise…it’s probably a close family member…but, as everyone knows, close family members are always stretching the truth…am I right?When I had grown, I found still other times that I would have been left home alone, though usually just for a few hours here or there. Last summer I read the book “Into the Wild,” the brief biography of Chris McCandless, who hitchhiked to Alaska just to live off the land alone in Alaska. He succeeded…until he succeeded no longer. Approximately 4 months after arriving in Alaska, Chris died alone in the Alaskan wilderness of starvation.
For some of us…being alone is perhaps one of life’s greatest fears. I have in fact heard some people state directly to me that their greatest fear is dying alone. Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk who wrote a book entitled “No Man is an Island.” I can’t recommend it because I have never read it…but it sounds interesting…though I probably still won’t read it. I do better with books like “Green Eggs and Ham” or “Hop on Pop”…or “Into the Wild” as stated above…though I think I actually had to check to book out for like 3 months from the Library before I was ever able to finish it. The premise of Merton’s book is the philosophy that there is not a single human being that can thrive all alone, we all need each other…God has created us for community.In fact, we see this community exist in God himself…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God has created us to community. I believe that God valued our need for community so much that even when we are alone…we are not alone. We see over and over in scriptures, how God promises to be “with us.”
God walked “with” Adam in the garden. God was “with” Abraham wherever he went. God told Moses that he would be “with” him at the burning bush. God promised Israel, that he would be “with” them through the exodus from Egypt. God promised his people through the prophet Isaiah, that God will send a savior to be “with” us…Immanuel. There then came the day…when Jesus Christ…came to dwell “with” us in flesh. God loves you so much…he is “with” you. You are not alone. You are not alone at Christmas…and you are not alone at work…and you are not alone at school…and you are not alone at home.