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?