Have you seen the lonely chair? This is a chair that is designed to offer you the comforts of a hug if you do not have someone to hug you. It is supposed to wrap you in a bear hug of sorts, bringing to you the warmth of a human hug. While I have never used this chair, it strikes me as something that has a certain emptiness to it. Isn’t it that we crave a hug for the emotional gratification that we receive from cozying up to someone and not just for the physical nature of it?
Incidentally, we are in the season when people tend to get really lonely. The media bombards us with images of exactly what our perfect holiday should look like. We see images of families gathering together and expressing their love to each other. At every turn there are festively decorated buildings beckoning to us. The music. The food. A general sense of excitement pulsing through the air.
But there are many persons who will go through the season surrounded by the trappings, while being very lonely on the inside. For them this season is like a giant telescope that magnifies their desire to fill the void of loneliness. Whether this loneliness is caused by the lost of a loved one or not having anyone. There is but one place to find rest for this, in Jesus.
One of my favorite quotes by Augustine of Hippo says it this way, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions.
Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). What a great privilege it is to take all our cares and concerns to Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the best gift of the season.
May God grant us the peace that we need over every circumstance that has caused loneliness in our lives this year. May we find rest in the absolute certainty that he is our great comforter, our best lonely chair.