One is the Loneliest Number

ID-10076741I remember an old Star Trek episode where an alien (who was part of some sort of biological collective) borrowed Spock’s physical body to accomplish a task. As the alien was acclimating to his new environment, he made a plaintive comment: “Oh, so alone. How can you stand this loneliness?”

My heart still tightens when I think of it. I imagine it’s like what a baby experiences. One minute she’s safe in the womb, hearing Mom’s heartbeat, continually held and rocked. The next minute she’s pushed out into bright lights, cold air, and noise. Mom’s heartbeat is no longer a constant reassurance of love.

It’s also a common feeling among adults. And it’s painful.tired on couch

I live alone. No kids, no romantic connections. Most of the time it’s fine. As a writer, solitariness is required. As a Christian, it can be easier to find time to be with God. But when life piles up and no one is there to help me out, loneliness attacks with a vengeance. It feels like no one cares. Like no one will ever care. Oh, maybe enough to commiserate, but to roll up sleeves and jump in? Uh-uh.

That’s when I think, “I need a husband. My married friends divide the labor. They give each other moral support, a shoulder to cry on.” All right, I know it’s a selfish motive for a lifelong Godly commitment. But there it is.

When you’re alone, are you lonely? How about when you’re in a crowd? When you’re with just one other person?end of my rope

Even if you’re a “people person” or an extrovert who recharges by being with others, a crowd can be a very lonely place. If the crowd is a bunch of relatives or friends instead of strangers, loneliness can still overwhelm you.

If you’re in an uncommunicative, unloving, or abusive marriage, you can feel very lonely. Good marriages can feel lonely at times, too.

Sometimes, knowing the love of God isn’t enough to keep the loneliness at bay.

Why does loneliness infect our hearts?

Because we feel unknown. Unloved. Unsupported. Even unwanted.

That’s lonely.

And it all boils down to relationship.


this is part 1 of a series on loneliness

Part1|One is the Loneliest Number

Part 2|Alone Does Not Equal Lonely

Part 3|Lonely in a Crowd

Part 4|Unloved and Lonely

Part 5|Lonely in our Selfishness

Part 6|Love Fights Loneliness

Part 7|Love is Laying Down Your Soul

Part 8| Misunderstanding “Laying Down Your Soul”

Part 9| Unknown and Lonely

Part 10| Lonely in a Good Marriage

all illustrations courtesy of