From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Is loneliness simply the outcome of being alone, and if so, what can people do to help others who experience such “aloneness”? – B.A.
A: Loneliness can bring solitude. Many experience this overlooking the ocean where there is never a sound except the booming of the surf along rock-strewn shores. There is the loneliness of the prairie with only the occasional mournful howl of the coyote. The mountains broken only by the sighing of the wind can seem lonely. The sentry standing duty alone at an outpost, the thousands in mental institutions, and those in solitary confinement in prisons and concentration camps know the meaning of the loneliness of solitude.
In his fascinating book, "Alone," Admiral Richard E. Byrd told about the time he spent in bewildering and soul-shattering darkness. He lived alone in a shack that was literally buried in the great glacial icecap that covers the South Pole. The days were as black as the nights. No living creature of any kind existed within a hundred miles. The cold was so intense that he could hear his breath freeze and crystallize as the wind blew it past his ears. But he kept his mind challenged by thinking on good things.
There are some who never hear one word of encouragement. Loneliness comes to shut-ins and wealthy society personalities. Some hide behind smiles and others are left with vacant eyes.
We may not be able to go to the lonely because of distance, or other circumstances, but the joy of the lonely receiving handwritten letters in the mail can be better than a spoonful of medicine, especially when the message tells of a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Jesus Christ is that Friend who wants to come near and abide in the hearts of those who will receive Him as Savior and Lord. Nothing dissolves loneliness like reading God’s love letter, the Bible; His Word is good and true.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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