Monday, May 28, 2007

Strings of a Thousand Pearls

Loneliness is the heaviest stone of all to carry around in your heart. I heard about a Charlie Brown comic strip long ago that read, “Nothing echoes like an empty mailbox.” I guess I’d agree.

Wang Wei, and 8th century Chinese poet, captures this feeling so powerfully in his poems that it leaves me breathless. Here is one of my favorites:

Drafted while still of low rank, he was sent far away.
She grieves in her lonely chamber, feeling old and ugly.
Though bravely she puts on her finest silks to match
the spring-clad trees,
Her tears run silently together in strings of a
thousand pearls.


Sometimes Christians talk as if once someone trusts in Christ that person will never be lonely again. As if having a close relationship with God will fulfill us and complete us.

I disagree. I think of the story of Adam and Eve. Adam had a perfect relationship with God, but yet God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Adam had God but was still alone. Even if we have a close relationship with God, our tears may still run silently together in strings of a thousand pears.


God chose not to create us one at a time and place us on a perfect world because it is not good for us to be alone, even if we have him. Our hearts were made to be filled with both God and each other.

Building relationships with each other—our lovers, our family members, our friends, our enemies—is one of the ways we become more fully human. More fully alive.

1 comment:

Craig said...

To think that once we become Christians we don't feel alone is akin to saying, "Once you accept Christ, everything's perfect."

We should know better.

We need each other, we need interaction. Like you've said, that's how God made us.