Everyone at some point has experienced loneliness in one form or another. Whether it is a sense of loneliness in a crowded room or a loneliness of friendship and community. There are times where we can feel lonely in certain points of our lives and even in deep in our hearts. Many times, this loneliness can be a dark place. A place where self doubt, fear, worry can creep into our lives. The lonely places can also be places of deep hurt, roundedness or regrets. Places, lonely places we don’t want anyone to see, touch or feel.
I am comforted by the story at the end of Mark 1. Jesus had spent what seemed like all day healing people at door step of Simon and Andrew’s house. The next morning Jesus slips out of the city unnoticed to a “solitary” place to spend time with His Father and rejuvenate (We all need our solitary place to connect to Jesus). The people in town realizing that Jesus wasn’t in the house sent out search parties looking for him. The disciples finally found him and told Jesus (I am paraphrasing),“Everyone is looking for you! You have made a huge impact and now is the time to seize the moment to be known and gain more popularity. Imagine how famous you could be now? We will need a stage, lights, etc.”
But Jesus said,”Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages (the outskirts of town, the places others wouldn’t go)—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” Jesus missed a huge PR moment in His ministry. (my comentary).
It was obvious that Jesus was shying away from the fame and popularity.
Just a few verses later, Jesus heals a man with leprosy and gave him strict orders not to tell anyone. But just like anyone who is healed or experiences something earth-shattering, the man couldn’t keep it to himself. He had to tell everyone he saw what Jesus did. As a result of these miracles, Jesus couldn’t go anywhere without being noticed, yet, Jesus intentionally stayed outside of town and avoiding popularity.
“As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places.”
The lonely place
The lonely place of our hurts
The lonely place of our wounds
The lonely place of our regrets
The lonely place of our hidden failures
Jesus is drawn to our lonely places, our brokenness, not our popular places or the places we want people to see. Not to where we “have it all together.”
Why? To heal, restore, redeem, and make new.
The only invitation Jesus needs is a simple, “Jesus come.”