Sometimes the pain in life generates thoughts that astounds and depresses people who hear of them. If that is so, then imagine the one who labors with the thoughts continuously. Recently, a brother shared a discouraging thought expressed on a sheet of paper by one who was (and evidently is) lonely. This loneliness, however, is not what you might imagine. Read what he shared not long ago:
Each November, our congregation puts up a “thankful tree” on a wall. Over the course of several weeks members are invited to write on a paper leaf something or someone they are thankful for. They don’t have to sign their leaves.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we have a devotional rather than regularly scheduled Bible classes.
We sing various hymns and chorus of praise and thanksgiving. We pray. We have a congregational reading of Psalm 107 interspersed between the songs. And we have our elders read from the leaves at four different points in the devotional.
This year, one leaf I did not have read aloud made the following comment:
“I’m thankful for murderers. Not because they kill people. I hate that, but just because they set a certin balence in the world. They make it to where we don’t over-populate. It’s called saving the animals and the economy.”
It is printed in a “female” hand, like that of a teenager. It is unsigned. I do not believe it is a bad joke. I suspect I know which one of our teen girls wrote it for she has always looked at the world sideways and comes from a troubled family.
Regardless of “who,” the content is troubling and well illustrates how the world has a greater influence on the thinking of some of our members than the Word does. The challenge is how to minister to those of our members who are still falling for Satan’s invite to take a bite of the fruit of the “tree of knowledge”.
Loneliness can be felt when one is not loved or liked. One can feel lonely when there is a feeling of abandonment or there is much conflict at home. What is the meaning or purpose of one’s life?
The trouble in the lives of some families simply can’t be described. I have been fortunate in my growing up years wherein thoughts like the one expressed above never entered into my mind. I was not unlike other teenagers, but these kinds of thoughts were foreign to me.
As a preacher and an elder how can I help?
As a parent how can I help?
As a grandparent how can I help?
As a peer how can I help?
I don’t have a particular answer. I know what helps me, and I am convinced that what helps me will help one who thinks like this. Is there something physiologically wrong with her? Perhaps. Is there some psychologically wrong with her? Perhaps. Maybe both apply. If so, then medical attention might be required.
On the other hand, spiritually speaking, the Lord has the only solution available to man (both males and females) that will help one in this life and pull them through and into the life God has prepared for those who love Him.