Have you ever been truly alone? There are situations in life that can isolate us. Illness, divorce, incarceration, grief, addiction, cancer treatments, etc. can put us in a place of complete estrangement from others. I experienced that in a very small way several years ago when a highly contagious stomach virus isolated me to my room for almost five days. My husband left Gatorade and toast at the door so that he wouldn’t catch it. Laying there in the bed for long days and nights without human contact was disorienting.
As Jesus made his journey through “Holy Week” to the cross, he was mentally and spiritually preparing himself for the crucifixion. It surely was a walk in a lonesome valley, as the old gospel song says. Nobody around him could know the terror that awaited him. Nobody around him could know the glory that was about to be revealed. Nobody expected the resurrection. Nobody understood.
He was truly all alone.
John 12 (The Message)
20-21 There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?”
22-23 Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24-25 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
26 “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
27-28 “Right now I am shaken. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”
29 The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”
Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
30-33 Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.
34 Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God’s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man ‘be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
Who is this ‘Son of Man’? Nobody understood.
Who is this child on the spectrum? Who is this soccer mom who has to get her fix before breakfast? Who is this former CEO in the nursing home? Who is this woman trying to just function after her husband left her? Who is this brave widow sitting alone in church trying to smile? Nobody understands.
35-36 Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”
As we journey with Jesus through the lonesome valley today, let us bring light to those who sit in the darkness of loneliness. Let us remember that the light of Christ is within us for a reason … to illuminate someone’s valley. As you go about your day, be a child of light to someone on their own dark journey.