Loner or Lost

Honk, honk, honk

Hearing the distinguishable sound of the Canada goose surprised me, interrupting the quiet of my frigid January chore. I was out in my yard cleaning up frozen dog poop. I looked up and, rather than witnessing a flock in the typical V-formation, I was astonished to observe a single lone goose flying overhead.

“What happened,” I asked, “did you get lost?” I’m aware that some Canada geese stay around as resident geese on open lakes, but most migrate south before our frigid Midwest weather. Those that do remain are still part of flocks. This loner caused me to wonder aloud, “Are you lost and calling for help? Is that a cry of grief because your mate has died? Or are you just an anomaly?”

The goose gave no answers. He was long gone before my questions ceased. As I finished my chore, I continued to ponder. My thoughts drifted to lonely humans. The questions I asked maverick goose may receive answers from isolated people.

In foster parent training and therapy, I’ve learned different responses people can have from trauma, such as anxiety, attachment disorders, ongoing emotional upset, difficulty with self-regulation, over-explaining, sleep issues, etc. These can in turn cause a person to appear or feel socially awkward.

What can a Christian do when spotting a loner? Let’s observe how Jesus responds in three different situations.

Jesus invites the tax collector, Zacchaeus to spend time with him, “When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today it is necessary for me to stay at your house’ ” (Luke 19:5, CSB). Due to his profession, it is plausible to think Zacchaeus would have been a loner. Most people despised and hated men like him. It is likely others in the crowd gathered with family and friends, hoping for their chance to glimpse Jesus coming through Jericho. But not Zacchaeus, he sat alone in a tree—hidden, isolated.

Jesus engages the Samaritan woman at the well in conversation, “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. ‘Give me a drink,’ Jesus said to her, because his disciples had gone into town to buy food. ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ she asked him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans” (John 4:7-9, CSB). Some historians and commentaries say that the woman came at noon rather than early morning or late in the evening out of a desire to avoid the shame she would encounter if coming when others frequented the well. Her sexual impurity would make her a social outcast.

Jesus accepts and acknowledges Mary’s social indiscretion, “Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (John 12:3, CSB). My study Bible says, “Mary’s act of devotion was costly. It was also an unusual act, both because she poured the oil on Jesus’ feet (normally it was poured on the head) and because she used her hair to wipe them (a respectable woman did not unbind her hair in public). Further it showed her humility, for it was a servant’s work to attend to the feet.” Mary’s action had a financial cost but also garnered a social cost because she was immediately ridiculed by the disciples.

Dear Reader, we can learn something by looking at the actions of Jesus towards three different societal outcasts. When we observe a loner, we can reach out to include the person, engage him or her in conversation, and ask questions to begin to know the person. Oh, how quickly would we understand other people’s traits and behaviors, learning to love and accept them as they are?

Dear Father God, make me more like you. Help me to see the true heart of the loner and appropriately gain their trust through genuine kindness and grace. Your love is winsome and spreads good news to all who will receive it. Amen.

Zacchaeus: Luke 19:1-10.
The Samaritan woman: John 4:4-42.
Jesus being anointed: John 12:1-8.
Zondervan NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth L. Barker. Zondervan, 2008.

Author Bio
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.

Would you like to know more about the afterlife and how you can be assured of eternity in Heaven? Check the Questions page.

Check the Free Gifts page for downloadable/printable study guides and resources.

Copyright © 2020-2023 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.

Photo of the flying goose by Gary Bendig on Unsplash.
Modification by Manette Kay.

Published by musingsofmanettekay

Sharing bits of memoir in the format of devotionals, prayers, short stories, and occasionally a poem.

25 thoughts on “Loner or Lost

  1. What a very pertinent post Manette; there are many loners in society who are ignored, and as you rightly point out our Lord loves them too. Recently I met a young man who was a loner due to his disability, but it was my pleasure to play chess with him. We have all been loners at sometime, we would do well to remember that and bring the love of Christ to others when the opportunity arises. God bless you today dear sister 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Manette, love the post. The way Jesus treated the outcasts are a humbling reminder for us to do the same. Invite, engage and accept. Thank you 😊 and God’s blessings 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jesus loved others as they were, and not only so, he saw them as they could be.

    May we seek out the loner, like he did, as we all are on loan from God.

    A wonderful, and thought provoking post, as always, Manette Kay.

    🙏May God give us the eyes to see the loaners and bring them into His fold.

    Sister, this will preach!

    As you say, “Jehovah be with you.” Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A good point, Gary. If the goose had not called out, I wouldn’t have noticed it either because I was going about my “routine” attention fixed on the ground. In life and the church foyer, we have to lift our eyes and look for the loner.
      Yehovah bless you.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree with Alan Kearns. We have all been loners. Dare I say, we, as believers, can still feel as if we are alone, lost, in a cave somewhere. However, the key word is, “feel as”. He is always there. God’s Grip – Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a lovely image, Anna! We have a flock of geese that often pass by morning and evening. I love to watch them ply their great wings across the sky. Now I’ll think of your image when they come into view and smile all the more.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My thoughts followed the same track as Gary. I try to spot the loners at church and engage them in conversation, though I have to admit to sometimes gravitating to folks I already know in order to catch up on what’s happening in their lives. Thank you for this reminder Manette, to show the love of Jesus to the loners and perhaps draw them to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Trivia and Truth

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: