the hours alone

My reality at home is one of quiet solitude. Yet there is purpose. I choose to focus my attention on how best to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I think often about how I can be a witness through my work and my time among others in the city. And then I do it. Solitude is a familar friend. For some it leads to isolation. I admit I have those moments as well. The holidays are a vulnerable season, where I do not quite feel like I fit. Perhaps I don’t in quite the ways people expect. And that is okay. So, I seek out others less fortunate than myself. And I try to bless them in tangible ways, always with kindness. And I seek out others who are going through struggles. I try to encourage them the best I know how.

I am mindful of the lady who stands daily at the corner of 42nd and Glisan each morning and afternoon. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. Who is caring for her? And what about the elderly Vietnam vet at the corner of 39th and Sandy? Who is comforting him? What of the many hundreds of others like them throughout the city?

When I consider their isolation in the midst of the elements, it brings to focus the opportunity I have to give of myself and, where appropriate, my resources to encourage them.

I also think of the children and parents in some of the apartments I frequent who appear to live lives of quiet desperation, paycheck-to-paycheck, one day-at-a-time. The weeks turn into months and then years, as a blur quickly forgotten, until someone cares enough to demonstrate the love of Jesus among them.

I can do that.

I can break the cycle of my own temptation to isolate and enter the world of people just like me who hurt. Who hunger. Who wonder.

Just like me.

Suddenly the hours alone become opportunities to engage others right where they are at. No gimmicks or bait-n-switch tactics.

Just being real.

Together for a time to lighten the burden of the hours alone.

The hours I spend alone can seem lonely. The hours they spend alone often are lonely. Until someone like me gives of my time to befriend them.

Until someone like you enters their world. And then the hours alone transform into something different, including hours together in ways that heal and restore.

I can do that. So can you.

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