“L” is for Loner
Perhaps everyone feels lonely at one point in their life. With all the changes in society and advancements in technology, it is no wonder that loneliness in American teens is a growing problem.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “Material poverty you can always satisfy with the material. The unwanted, the unloved, those not cared for, the forgotten, the lonely: this is a much greater poverty.”
In my YA Christian fiction, Roland West, Loner, 14-year-old Roland feels lonely at home and at a new school. Worse, he’s the subject of cruel rumors. And he’s shy. He’d trade anything for one good friend.
As the story unfolds, Roland makes a couple of friends and he learns a powerful lesson that is true for every one of us. None of us are ever truly alone. In addition to our ever-present God and our guardian angel, we are surrounded by a cloud of heavenly witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). Can these witnesses really help and encourage as it shows in Hebrews? Can turning our attention to spiritual realities be a remedy for loneliness? Can it help a person to find their purpose while also inspiring him or her to reach out to others?
Loneliness is an important element for storytelling. After facing conflict throughout the story, and failing many times, our protagonist needs to go deep and go alone. In the “Hero’s Journey” this is called the “Innermost Cave.” Here, alone, our protagonist is brought to his knees. He comes face to face with his greatest fears and weaknesses. Here he must conquer the inner demons.
On Holy Thursday we remember the when the greatest hero prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. He longed for the support of his three closest disciples, but they were not there for him. Jesus had to do this alone.
And on Good Friday, abandoned by his followers, the greatest hero embraced the cross that would save us all.
And on three days, He rose again.
Have a holy Good Friday and a Blessed Easter!