PRINCIPLE: “When you’re left alone, don’t be alone.”
All three incidents happened within a short span of time – perhaps within one or two weeks of each other. I can’t recall the time gaps between them, but that’s not important; just that they happened close together.
Incident #1: My mother picked me up from a practice of our Jr. High School musical. We also took Dan, a friend of mine, home. Dan had broken his leg and was on crutches. So when we got to his house I helped him out of the car, carried his books, and helped him up the steps and into his house. I went back outside only to discover that my mother had driven off without me. Stunned, I stood there for a moment wondering how long I’d be there and what to do. Before I could answer my questions she came around the corner; I could see her smile. She had just absent mindedly taken off when she saw me disappear into the house. Fortunately, it didn’t take her long to realize her error! No harm done.
Incident #2: We often picked up my aunt Nellie for church. She was elderly (at least then I thought it was elderly!) so I would go to her door, walk her down the sidewalk, and help her in the car. On this Sunday, as always, once she was safely in I closed her door and started to re-open my door so I could get back in the car – except as I put one foot into the car my Dad started driving off. With one foot in and one foot out and the car moving, I was in a predicament! Fortunately my shouts of “Dad!” caught his attention and he stopped. No harm done.
Incident #3: My sister, just old enough to drive, picked me up from my cello lesson. I opened the back seat car door, put my cello on the seat and closed the door. As I reached for the front door, off she went! Since I was starting to get used to this, I figured she’d be back. Sure enough, with a grin wide enough to drive a truck through, she came around the block. All she could say between laughs was, “I wondered why you didn’t answer when I spoke to you! I just figured you had gotten in the back seat.” No harm done – except I did wonder briefly if my family was giving me a message!
I have often thought about this series of incidents, and realize that even though I was left behind and alone, I wasn’t alone. My family was not about to let me stay there – I was still in their minds and hearts. I knew that even then. But I’ve also come to recognize that we all experience many times in life when we feel alone, left behind, left out. That’s when Jesus’ words are so important and wonderful: “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.” (Jn. 14:18-20 MSG) No matter how alone, we are not alone. No matter how often left behind, we’re not left behind. Jesus has not left us – He lives within us; we are in Him and He is in us, no matter how often others pull away from us. All we need to do is remember it. If we fail to remember, we will feel alone, deserted, and abandoned. So “When you’re left alone, don’t be alone.” When left alone, say “Hi” to Jesus, thank Him for staying with you, and have a conversation with Him. After all, there’s no one else around to talk to! And before long you’ll be picked up again and carried off into the noise and busyness of life. So enjoy the moments with Jesus. “When you’re left alone, don’t be alone.”