"Loneliness: It's Such a Sad Affair"
"There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."1
"Love … look at the two of us, Strangers in many ways." These were words that Karen Carpenter hauntingly sang. Likewise, in another song she expressed how loneliness was "such a sad affair." Tragically, Karen's own life was a sad affair. Lonely and not feeling loved, she starved herself to death. A tragic loss.
In the U.S. at the turn of this century it was estimated that some 50 percent of adults 25 and older would be single. Many, if not most of these, long to love and be loved by at least one special person. Some will be fortunate to find meaningful love. Some probably won't. And there are millions of married people who, like strangers, live together alone apart. Their lives are consumed by loneliness, as are the lives of many elderly folk. This, too, is a very sad affair.
Whether single or married, young or old, the fact is that while we can live without romantic love—even if not desirable—we cannot live healthily without at least one or two healthy, loving relationships. We are created for such and need to get this requirement met in healthy ways. If we don't, it can take years off our life.
In perhaps the greatest literary masterpiece on love ever written, the Apostle Paul wrote of the emptiness of life without love: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."2
Paul also gives us the key for finding love in loving relationships: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres."3
And in the words of John Oxenham of New Zealand:
Love ever gives,
And ever stands with open hands,
For while it lives, it gives.
For this is love's prerogative —
To give, and give, and give.4
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your great love in giving your Son, Jesus, to die in my place for my sins. Please help me to find healthy loving relationships and learn to love others as you have loved me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (TLB)(NLT).
2. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV).
3. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).
4. See www.actsweb.org/wordsoflove/love_ever_gives.php.