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Monday, 25 May 2015

You are not alone

You are not alone.

Just back from a short walk along the familiar paths near my home. I didn’t meet anyone. The road was empty, even of cars. The first part of the pathway, though, was lined with neon-golden gorse and broom, branches drooping towards me.

I thought of children’s races and matches which I’ve attended over the years, where I would be standing on the sidelines shouting encouragement to my kids. Sometimes my exuberance may have been very un-Scottish but at least my kids knew I was supporting them. Maybe my words exploded like golden neon into the air.

You are not alone. Walking along that part of the path, with the neon blossom on either side, I felt encouraged, supported. Not alone.

There’s a movie out now called Into the Woods, which is a sort of weird compilation of fairy tales with the same menacing undertones and threats. The denouement includes a chorus the few survivors sing to each other, the main words of which are ‘You are not alone!’ Given the run-ins they’ve all just had with giants and witches and wolves, I’m not sure I would have found such a mantra very encouraging. 

What I heard, though, was a desperate yearning to know that in this big bad universe, we are not alone. Someone must be on our side. This movie’s conclusion suggested we aren’t alone because we are there for each other – as one by one our numbers diminish, those who are left will stand by us.

Not much consolation or hope, if you ask me. I’d prefer to rely on the promises Jesus made to his followers: I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. The writer to the Hebrews also reminded his readers that they are surrounded by a crowd of witnesses who are cheering them on. 

We aren’t alone. That’s true. And the one who is with us, Jesus, is powerful. He is mighty to save. He loves us so much he died for us. He loves us with an everlasting love. He forgives and he sends his Holy Spirit to live in us and remind us who we are, and who Jesus is. 

Jesus is always with us, through the good times and the bad. And we are surrounded by others who love and pray for us, prayers which are efficacious. 

Whatever is facing you today, remember that in the best of ways, you are not alone.

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