Alone In A Crowd
By Joan Walker Hahn
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Psalm 25:16
Have you ever been in a group of people but still felt all alone? I have many times. Often it was because I was enveloped by deep shadows of depression. Sometimes it was because of the situation I was in and feeling no one could understand. At other times it was because I kept to myself, feeling insignificant and unworthy of friendship.
There was a woman in the Bible who I believe must have felt that loneliness. She was a widow and had just lost her son. In those days, a widow who was childless often became destitute with no one to take care of her financially.
Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.
When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”
The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” Luke 7:11-16 NIV
I noticed a couple things in this passage. First, the woman didn’t approach Jesus. He went to her. Perhaps she didn’t see Him or recognize the Miracle Worker that had just arrived in town. In many of the miracles Jesus performed, people came to Him asking for that miracle. Not so in this case. Jesus saw the woman first and went to her.
Secondly, the passage said there was a large crowd with the woman. In a crowd that size and because of the tradition of mourners wailing loudly, there must have been many women crying. I wondered how Jesus immediately spotted the mother. Of course, we know that He sees all. Even in the midst of a large crowd, He knows each of us as individuals and sees our needs.
And thirdly, Christ, Himself, certainly knows what it feels like to be alone in a crowd. The one time that stands out in my mind is when He didn’t want to be alone. He asked His closest disciples, His dearest friends, to go with Him to pray.
And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?” Matthew 26:37-40 NKJV
Three times Jesus looked to His friends who were there for support, and each time He saw them asleep. Can you imagine how alone He felt? By looking at Christ, we can learn how to handle those moments.
First, Christ continued to pray. He kept returning to His Father for comfort. We, too, can always find comfort in our heavenly Father when we feel no one else understands.
And then, Christ trusted the Father’s will. Even though His flesh wanted a way out of the suffering, He knew the Father’s plan was perfect and relinquished Himself to that plan. When we keep our trust in God, everything always works out for our good and His glory.
As long as we cling to Christ, we will never be alone!
Heavenly Father, Thank You for seeing me! Even when I feel so small and unnoticed, You see my heart and hear my plea. Help me to keep my trust in You and Your plan for my life. May I always feel Your presence and know that I’m not alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2019 by Joan Walker Hahn. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 18 August 2022.