Feeling Loved and Accepted
Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."1
Most of my generation (at least), "know how much the world fawned over actress, Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps fewer know how rejected she felt throughout her life. A reporter from the New York Times was interviewing her and, being aware of her troubled background, posed the following question: 'Did you ever feel loved by any of the foster families with whom you lived?'
"'Once,' Marilyn replied, 'when I was about seven or eight. The woman I was living with was putting on makeup, and I was watching her. She was in a happy mood, so she reached over and patted my cheeks with her rouge puff. . . . For that moment, I felt loved by her.'"2
How incredibly sad. One can understand why Marilyn ended her life at the height of her popularity. All the fame, attention, popularity and money together can never fill the empty void of an aching, lonely heart—a heart that deep down doesn't feel loved.
Some time ago I watched Larry King interviewing Winona Judd on his TV program, Larry King Live. Winona has sold millions of copies of her recordings, and has achieved fame as one of the all time greats in female Country music. It was fascinating to hear her background. If I remember correctly, her father deserted her mother before she was born. Winona never got to see him before he died. She was crushed when she learned of his passing. She, too, struggled much of her personal life and shared how desperately lonely she felt when, after being on stage and adored by thousands of fans, had to go back to a hotel room alone. Winona may have had a loving mother, but she felt the terrible pains of not having a loving father.
Winona also spoke of her faith and said she is doing much better these days in her personal life. After hearing her story, one can understand why the title of one of her albums is, "What the World Needs Now Is Love."
How true this is. Without knowing a mother and a father's love, which millions of people growing up in today's society don't know, we limp along in the shadows of life trying to eke out a meager existence which no amount of fame, popularity or riches can meet. Loneliness, as it has been medically shown, can break your heart and take years off your life. Karen Carpenter, another famous singer—one who inadvertently starved herself to death—hauntingly sang, "Loneliness . . . it's such a sad affair."
People desperately need, not only God's love, but the love of God's people through whom, for many, is the only way they will ever find and experience God's love.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in the midst of a lonely world where so many are looking for love in all the wrong ways and places, please help me to share your love with a lonely person today and, in so doing, may they sense that they have been touched by you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 13:34 (NIV).
2. Helen Colton, The Gift of Touch (NY: Seaview/Putnam, 1983), p. 102. Adapted. Cited on www.eSermons.com.