by Delores Carr
During this Pandemic time, many of us have spent more time than usual alone. I have never minded being alone. It’s time for thinking, praying even as I do my work, and quieting myself. I enjoy it.
However, I have never had enforced long periods of aloneness. I don’t know if I would like that. Even now, my husband is here after work and weekends. He is an essential worker, so he is coming and going each day. I have someone to talk to, to bounce things off, and someone with whom to interact. I talk occasionally, at a “proper distance” to my neighbor. I email and talk by phone to family and friends.
I received a phone call a couple of days ago from a friend of twenty-seven years who lives in another state. She told me her husband had died suddenly that morning. I was stunned. She did not want to talk. She did not want me to pray with her. She just wanted to let me know.
She hung up, and I began to weep and pray. But HOW do I pray? After all these years of gently witnessing to this couple, I had no assurance he was ready to meet God. He was a good man. He ran his business with honesty and integrity. They were faithful to their old-line church. But they had difficulty seeing their spiritual need.
They knew nothing of God’s Word or about a personal relationship with Him except what we had told them as the Lord had opened opportunities. They were touchy and resistant to talking about spiritual things. One time when I mentioned the Bible, she told me, “We don’t use the Bible in our church. We have prayer books.” I thought at the time, how sad. Just as is described in 2 Kings 22, the Word of God had been lost in the house of God.
So, after hanging up the phone, I prayed in the Spirit according to Acts 8:26-27, as I didn’t know how to pray. Aren’t you thankful for the Holy Spirit at times like this?
It’s never a good time to lose someone you love. Often during this unusual pandemic time in our nation, I have thought how sad that people cannot have a proper funeral with the support of friends and family when death comes. Now my friend is there. We can’t attend his funeral. We can’t be there to say, “We love you” or to comfort her. I can’t offer to come there and help with all the stuff she must deal with.
She is alone.
And she is even more alone as she does not have the personal relationship with a Savior and God. I cannot give her the same healing words of encouragement from the Word that we give our Christian friends and family at these tough times. I don’t know that he is with the Lord. I don’t know that she will see him again someday. So, at this point, we DO grieve as others grieve. It’s awful.
But I can pray. I ask God to somehow make Himself real to her. I pray that she will not become bitter. I pray that God will give her guidance and clarity in working through all the “stuff“ that is associated with the aftermath of a death. Paperwork alone can be overwhelming. And I pray that somehow, she will come to a personal relationship with Him. I pray she will turn to Him for help.
For a moment, stop and thank God that you are never alone when He is your personal Savior. Reflect on what a tremendous blessing that is. Be grateful for His presence whatever your circumstances. Be still and know that He is God–even when you are all alone. Or, maybe especially then.
Delores and her husband, David, have a long and rich history of ministry. From youth pastor to senior pastor, from church planter to teaching in AG Bible colleges, they have covered this nation from coast to coast. Delores has been director and teacher in pre-school programs, filled the pulpit from time-to-time, and a speaker to women's groups. She loves music and writing, and hopes to one day write a book about her family history in the Ozarks.