Saturday, March 3, 2012

The lonely flower

The boys and I were painting recently. I’m not really a painter, but my oldest, Alex, is, and he painted a beautiful picture of some flowers. There were two red tulips and one purplish/black flower. I asked him what the name of the painting was and his response was, “The lonely flower.” I was a bit puzzled because there were three flowers on the painting.

He proceeded to explain that it was the purple flower that was lonely. I said, “But there are two other flowers right beside it, why would it be lonely?”

He said that the red flowers were a father and his son and the purple flower was a father without a son. That’s why he was lonely. “Don’t you see his head drooping, mom?”

Uh, no I don’t, but one must never argue with the artist.

I can identify with the lonely flower. Longings unfulfilled. There have been lots of lonely days since Erik’s death. Some days it feels palpable.

It’s easy to run to other things to fill the loneliness. For me, TV and Facebook are joy stealers. Not that they are inherently bad, but often it’s my default when I am lonely. Others run to alcohol, drugs, sex.

I read Psalm 16 to Erik the day that he died. In these verses, the Psalmist practically screams of God’s presence and ability to satisfy our longing hearts. “He is at my right hand;” “My heart is glad;” “For you will not abandon me;” “You will make known to me the path of life;” “In Your presence there is fullness of joy;” “In Your right hand there are pleasure forever more.”

We will experience this perfect satisfaction in Christ only in heaven, which is why I read it to Erik, but this is also a reminder for life here on earth. God is screaming to the lonely heart. I AM WITH YOU! I WILL BE WHAT YOU NEED! I CAN SATISY!

And here lies the struggle . . . am I really going to believe God is enough today?


  1. God sets the lonely in families (Palm 68:6a)

  2. Thank you for this opportunity for reflection.

    There isn't a day or moment that goes by without me feeling at some level, in some measure the loneliness of missing my beloved late wife Melissa. I know she is with the Lord, in Whose presence is fullness of joy. She is on the other side of eternity with our awesome God in heaven at Whose right hand are pleasures forevermore. Where there is no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow.

    And on this side on earth, I remain and continue, with a deep ache and longing inside, yearning.... Nearly twenty-three years of married life so deeply in love in the Lord together, blessed with intimacy in prayer, sharing and experiencing God's grace with six children, and now over two years since her homegoing to glory, I find myself saying in my prayer life before God, "Lord, I'm not sure how this is possible, but I sense my love for her has ever since even more so deepened in the wake of her passing...." I am ever more so now grateful for her and our union in Christ.

    God is good, in all God's ways, all the time. God's love endures, forever. All glory be unto the Lord Whose tender mercies, faithfulness and loving kindness are new every morning, every day, for the rest of our days, lived for the Holy and Anointed One, Y'shua HaMashiach in Whom we live, and move, and have our being.

    With gratitude and awe in Jesus, I am

    Still in One Peace,
    Rex Espiritu