The Wisdom of Loneliness By Frank Ferrera

~

Here I am in my loneliness. The more I think of this loneliness I am in, the more it seems as though it will never end. When did all of this confusion begin? I am eighty-years-old. Is this the reason? I can still look back in my mind and remember my youth. It seems like yesterday. Since then, my wife passed away and all of my children have their own life to live now. Friends are few nowadays and yes, very few phone calls to see how I am doing…from kids or friends. It’s like I have been forgotten.

I sit by my window. I look at the sky and wonder. I do not watch T.V. anymore. I’d rather watch the rain fall and just meditate and think on how things used to be. And still this confusion, this feeling of loneliness is within me.

There are times when I feel this inner strength. It’s like a light within me. It shines, almost as if to direct my steps somehow. I become in this moment like Moses in the desert being directed by the cloud by day and the fire by night…which were of course the Lord Himself. The light becomes the path in my life, not just the light to my path. I look for direction in my life and the light seems to guide me.

With all the troubles and trials that fell on me, God never did let go of me. I recall the one time when it felt like all of hell was out to get me. I did not know what to do and did not know if I was I going to survive it, let alone make it through. I saw myself in the footsteps of Elijah, afraid and lost. I was distressed. And just like Elijah prayed and the Lord sent the birds and angels to feed him, the Lord gave comfort to me. I prayed often during that time and the Lord was always faithful and He never left me.

I recall that things got better then and all seemed like it was just a nightmare I’d awoken from. How soon I forgot. Why? Like I said, life got better. There was money and the good things of this life. Soon, because things were so good, I forgot many people in my life, people who had been there for me during the not so good times. I even forgot the Lord. The pride of life stepped in and the envy of others who had more than I did. I would pray to the Lord and ask for the things others had. I became like Peter asking and telling the Lord, “Why should he have more than I have?” The Lord would answer me like He did Peter too. “Worry about yourself. What is it to you if I wish to give to some and not to others? I have plans for you.”

I had to walk the road to Emmaus many a time to recall of what the Lord had done for me and come out of my blindness during this part of my life. It still hurts inside to think about. I had moments like Paul recounted. There were things I did not want to do that I did anyway and things I should have done that I did not do as well.

As I recalled these times in my past life, I walked to the mirror on the wall and looked at myself. The inner man was looking at me. I realized this outer man is not who he seems to be. When the real world looks at me, they believe whatever I want them to believe based on what my outer man looks like. But that is not the real me. My outer man is full of pride, but I know I am not free. In my soul I know the outer man will fade away, but the inner man will be here to stay. I have to learn to live with all my frailties and I have to learn to be content. So as I look in the mirror, I know who I really am.

Then come the days of my dreams. I think of how Joseph had dreams. I fall asleep crying in my loneliness, thinking of how bad things were and how all alone I was. Then this deep sleep enveloped me. As I opened my eyes in my dreams, I was on the shores of Galilee. I raised my gaze to see a person standing there. He looked very strong. When He spoke to me, His voice was low and full of love. As I stood there in front of Him, He said to me, “You are one of mine. I heard you crying last night so I have come to spend this night with you.” He took my hand and said, “I am aware of your pains and sufferings.”

As He looked towards heaven, all of a sudden time seemed to freeze. In a moment, we were standing on this hill. “My son,” He said, “I suffered on this site and gave My life for you. I know what suffering and loneliness is.” He took my hand and then, in an instant, we were in the Garden of Gethsemane. We walked and talked. He took His time with me. As I looked across the Mount of Olives, the sun was coming up. I asked, “Lord, do You have to go?”  He said, “I will be back. Just call me. I will see you in your dreams again tomorrow.”

I awoke with tears in my eyes. How ungrateful I had been compared to what my Lord had done for me. My eyes opened up like blind Bartimaeus. I had heard Him, seen Him. Now I could see. I cried out in shame and asked for His forgiveness. I now saw all the good in my life. The old things were made new when I received the Lord.

I have now learned not to base my life from day to day, but by the ticking hands on a clock. One moment we are here and then we are not. I had lived my life for position and pride and looking just to survive. This world says to get all you can get. The Lord says to help your fellow man, give a helping hand…give more, take less. I had tried to reach the top. But now I will not forget the ticking of the clock.

There is more to life than what you earn. The truth in life is what you learn. So I will be grateful for I am not alone. My Lord is with me always. My life has been predestined and it is all about what Christ has done for me. The choice is mine. The question is, do I believe. I am more alive and more awake than I have ever been. I will not let time just pass me by. Loneliness is far away now and eternal life is mine. I am not worried about when the clock will stop.