Toss Loneliness Under The Bus

Hank Williams

No one has ever captured the nuances of loneliness like Hank Williams. He had a talent for mirroring the highs and lows of a life driven by compulsions that in the end swallowed him whole.

His raw-edged twang shocks the ears of those accustomed to today’s syrupy sounds, but the man’s songs remain emotional powder kegs.

If one gives his music a fair chance, the initial negative reaction quickly turns to empathy, for his country blues force the listener to crawl up inside that empty place within.

In his classic ballad, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry he reflects his isolation onto us and we reluctantly experience it: “Have you ever heard a robin grieve…When leaves begin to die?...That means he's lost the will to live…I'm so lonesome I could cry.”

No One Is Immune

An elusive sense of aloneness is as ordinary as hiccups. No one is immune to its creeping advance along our inner corridors. We can’t figure out the whys and wherefores of it, but the tears still come to dampen our cheeks.

We attempt to escape the sneaky feelings with pleasures and pursuits, but none of our efforts change anything.

We seem destined to struggle with a haunting hollowness that refuses to be subdued. At one time or another we have all heard a robin grieve.

All of this is true unless of course one resides in some fantasyland where denial is the main attraction. To be candid, many people prefer the comfy confines of that residential area because the action on reality lane can sometimes be overwhelming.

To be human means coming to terms with seclusion; to be human is to know a type of solitary confinement for we are each caged inside flesh and blood that segregates us from others.

Adjusting Our Perspective

We are what we are, but loneliness does not have to dominate us. In our overloaded lives governed by a ticking clock of deadlines, we have a tendency to become so self-involved we get lost. The universe can be reduced to the size of our problems and concerns; nothing else matters except me and mine.

In our egocentric cosmos, we race around like glassy-eyed mutants fixated on the urgency at hand. Maybe, just maybe those times of being alone are our heavenly Father’s attempt to get our attention.

Perhaps lonesome moments are actually gifts from God to be used to cultivate spiritual growth; a special invitation to focus our vision on an ever-expanding horizon.

A positive response to loneliness has transformational power: If we intentionally engage in an introspective evaluation, then our perspective can be adjusted and fine tuned in prayer.

We will come to appreciate the wondrous blessings to be enjoyed as we stand shoulder to shoulder on the common ground of our humanity. Making friends is one of the highest privileges we have.

Recognizing our need to be connected to others we must endeavor to examine our lives through the eyes of those ostracized by the mainstream. Loneliness can be kicked to the curb when we embrace the realization that we have a never-ending responsibility to reach out to those who are marginalized.

There is great encouragement in the knowledge that our Creator is sensitive to our dilemma. We were not brought into existence to spend our days contending with doubts and fears quarantined from others. We were created for friendship. We were created to be in relationship with God and with each other.

Sin is the debilitating factor. The reality of sin is that it destroys friendship with God and friendship with those around us.

"Come to me, all you who are
 weary and burdened, and I
 will give you rest. Take my
 yoke upon you and learn from
 me, for I am gentle and 
 humble in heart, and you will
 find rest for your souls."
   ~Jesus of Nazareth~

Encourage One Another

Those of us who claim to follow Christ are without excuse. We should be continually involved in reconciliation because God’s Word assures us that the sin issue has been settled:

“For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.”

I'm so lonesome I could cry. Many of our neighbors or those we pass on the street have more than a nodding acquaintance with the sting of those words. Part of what it means to “encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds” is to work at alleviating loneliness by being a friend at every turn of the road.

In doing so, we toss loneliness under the bus.

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Comments 10 comments

sandwichmom profile image

sandwichmom 7 years ago from Arkansas

This is great reading; I work with elderly and neighbors that say hi will often make their day!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

sandwichmom - Thanks. I'm not there yet, but I am on my way to elderly & hope when I get there, I have some friends to brighten my days.


pastorkat4 7 years ago

Ken,

This is powerful. Just visited my mom over the past weekend and I was struck more than ever by the fact that 11 years after my dad's passing she is lonelier than ever even though she is a dedicated Christ Follower. I've had a couple conversations with my siblings since then about her retreat into herself and we are at a loss as to what we can and should do. Now I know one thing I can do -- I'm sending this piece to her.

Thanks Bro!

Keith


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Keith. John Prine has a song that haunts me called "Hello, In There". I first heard it as a young man, but when I listen to it now with age creeping up on me, it is even more disturbing & thought-provoking. Blessings to you & your Mom.


D. E. Climenhaga 7 years ago

Thanks Ken. This reminded me of an incident in my own life about a week after my late wife’s death (on Mother’s Day 1991). I don’t cry easily, but I was kneeling by my bedside, and I just groaned “Lord, I’m so lonely.” And I felt a peace, a warmth, a something indescribable, encompass me. The loneliness was still there, but there was a comfort too, and a will to live until He called me home. After two years He supplied another companion. I still miss my first wife. I thank God daily for my present wife.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you for sharing that precious memory, David. Be encouraged for you are an encouragement to many.


Pachuca213 7 years ago

I love Hank Williams songs...its funny that you have written two hubs on two of my favorite country singers. Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Another singer (that you didn't mention) that I believe could really show pure feelings in her music I also love Patsy Cline...she could also take a raw emotion and envoke the true feelings magically placing them into her pure and hearty voice for all to hear. (by the way she was my grandma's cousin too so I am biased!) Good hub!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, Pachuca213. You are right about Patsy Cline. No one could/can sing like her.


Pachuca213 7 years ago

Yes you are right, I have never heard anyone sing quite like her. Though I would like to think I inherited some of her vocal abilities....I would love your opinion! ;)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHILiQmw8hY Take care!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

You have a beautiful voice, Pachuca213. Thank you for sharing this link with me.

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