We are not meant to be alone. Even from the beginning (Gen 2:18), God knew it was not good for man to be alone. We are social creatures, even those who choose not to socialize. Whether we connect with one or a hundred people, we are meant to have some sort of companionship. To that end, we seek that fulfillment in many things. Some seek it in people’s acceptance, loyalty, assurance, and validation. Some seek it in the quiet of personal connection with others or even nature.
However we seek to fill this void, we do best to seek God in all our troubles, trials, and travels, and take Him with us on the journey. There are many bumps and bruises in this life journey (putting it lightly) and who better to guide us than the One who made us? Don’t children seek guidance, acceptance, and companionship with their parents throughout their young lives? It’s an instinct and it never fades. As we grow, it changes shape and we no longer seek as much advice from our parents (although we may), but we seek Someone wiser and even more helpful and ever present.
Our hearts will not rest until they rest in the Lord according to the wisdom of St. Augustine. No one else can fill that void. We all suffer and trudge on in this world, but we are not of this world (John 15:19). We are travelers here and will go to the place the Lord prepares for us (John 14:2). Until then, we must take heart, rely on Him, and carry on. The song Weary Traveler by Jordan St. Cyr comes to mind and you can check it out here.
Perhaps we can even seek out those who aren’t finding solace in their sufferings, because there are many around us filled with sadness and loneliness, especially around this time of year. Sometimes, we need to be Jesus to someone else and reach out to check on them, be with them, love them. When Christmas is a hard time and the world around you is joyful, it’s hard to find peace and reconcile the hurt, so having a companion to be there is valuable.
We need each other and, even more, we need God. Sometimes growing closer to God happens best when we let Him work through us. Let’s try to make some connections this Christmas and grow our community as well as our hearts. As Catholics, we know we always have the Lord with us through our troubles. Let’s share that love (and maybe our own stories) with those whose hearts are in need of the same. This is preaching the gospel in a personal and more convicting way. No one is an island. We are made for community, even if it’s a small community.