“I must be Dorothy.”
I’ll admit it. We had been ignoring the beautiful little girl. In the room full of people, every one of us was looking at the window and offering an opinion about the shades being installed. No one was focused on her in any way.
The sweet little girl sat on the cedar chest and swung her feet—thunk, thunk, thunk—against the sides, waiting for at least one of us to tear our eyes away from the window and speak to her.
It must have been a sore trial for the little tyke. When one is used to being the center of attention, to be among a crowd of folks and not even be a part of the conversation would be most difficult. Especially if you’re an almost four-year-old kid.
Then again, I don’t know.
This sixty-year-old man understands how she feels. Anyone who’s spent time waiting while life goes on apace for others all around knows how the little girl feels.
Lonely isn’t only being by one’s self. It’s not.
Isolation isn’t primarily about walls and distance.
We might even need to remind ourselves once in a while of who we are. And, who we were.
I must be Dorothy.
Into the dark room of loneliness, sometimes a shaft of light—a blazing ray of sunshine— sneaks its way through the blinds we have lowered ourselves and illuminates the entire room.
How’s this for light?
He already knows my name! (Isaiah 43:1)
I’ll never have to stand and remind Him, I must be Paul. He knows.
We don’t need to jump up and down, waving to make sure He is aware of our presence. We have His undivided attention.
But, perhaps it’s time I—we— who have been shown such love and lavish attention should begin to show love and lavish attention to those around us.
Many are lonely in the crowd. Many sit, kicking their feet, waiting for someone—anyone—to notice them sitting there.
I’ve been in that crowd. Alone. Lost. I will attest to the loneliness and pain. But, I also remember the approach of a member of the crowd who says, You must be Paul, and then that feeling of relief and belonging spreading to every part of my being.
It is a wondrous gift to be recognized.
Who better to notice those who are alone than we who have been noticed when we were alone? We have been recognized in a crowd. Why would we not offer that same gift to others who desperately need it?
We are blessed so that we will bless. It is a reasonable expectation.
I won’t deny it. We laughed as we heard the words from the little girl’s mouth today. And then, we paid attention to her.
But the truth is, most folks won’t ever say a word. They’ll come into our lives and they’ll disappear just as quickly. And, quietly. If we let them.
Let’s not let them.
You must be __. I was hoping you’d be here.
Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight.
(Roy Orbison ~ American singer/songwriter ~ 1936-1988)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ~ NLT ~ Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2017. All Rights Reserved.