It’s nearly 9pm as I sit on my 3rd floor balcony in Nashville. My apartment is about as close to the interstate as you can get. I hear the big trucks flying by every so often accompanied by the higher pitched buzz of cars weaving in and out of traffic. I look out and see the light pollution of downtown Nashville and see a couple of planes in the near distance beginning their decent into Nashville International.
Why is it still called Nashville “International” by the way? We having nothing even close to an international flight anymore. My guess is that it would cost too much to change all of the signs. Those signs are bigger than you think you k now?
The blinking lights in the sky make me wonder, though, about who all sits in those cramped little seats entering our fair city. Some are on business, some are coming to see family, some are locals just coming back home. What lies in store for them though?
Families waiting for them at home?
Empty hotel room?
Wives, husbands, kids, girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, friends
My dad used to go on business trips. Sometimes to Germany, sometimes to Pennsylvania. Even as a boy I remember seeing the people getting off the airplane (back when you could meet people at the gate). Some people would get off and have people there to meet them. They would embrace and smile as their eyes met. Others would get off and turn walking alone to get their bag and then off to their destination. Even as an 11 year old I found myself feeling bad for these people that did not have anyone to meet them. Now that I’m older I realize that they probably were going home to a wife or kids but it seemed so lonely at the time.
Have you ever had one of those nights when you were alone and the aloneness was overwhelming. Maybe you were even surrounded by people and felt alone. Sitting in a suburban neighborhood with thousands of people within a mile of you, seeing the excitement of the lights downtown , the hustle and bustle going on around you, yet you are alone.
I have this completely irrational fear that I have only told a handful of people in my life. Everyone has seen those movies when the world is coming to an end and everyone abandons a major city. There always follows that scene where the camera pans through the streets and it is completely quiet and there is debris and loose paper blowing around. One of my greatest fears is waking up and being the only person walking through those streets. Complete and utter aloneness.
My mind races and makes it worse when I imagine walking through the streets and there being people walking toward me in those yellow bio hazard suits. If that ever happened then I would likely have to change my underwear. There’s something about knowing you’re alone and then it getting worse by realizing that you’re not alone but that there has been some nuclear or biological catastrophe that you’re apart of. Either way, you are pretty much screwed and by yourself in one way or another.
Sometimes when I’m lonely I feel very small. I feel insignificant and outnumbered. I feel like no one knows where I am at in life and what I’m going through. I feel like I’ve just gotten off the plane and there’s no one there to meet me and no one who is going to be happy to see me when I get home. Occasionally in my pity party, these verses will pop into my head and give me hope.
Matthew 10:29-31 NIV
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
“Thanks God for that little reminder. I sometimes forget how much you value me and how you always know where I am [even if it’s all alone in a city that has undergone a nuclear or biological disaster]. You never sleep, never slow down, you always pursue me. Even when I try to run away from you I am always running toward you for wherever I am, there you are as well. Give me a sense of your presence in those times when I doubt; when I forget how vast, how wide, and how deep your love is for me.”