By Joel A. Hess –
“It’s not good for the man to be alone”
Those words rang in Jesus’ red, fleshy brain. He said them, after all. Or His Father did. It didn’t matter. He had never really been alone. His Father had always been with him. Even in Mary’s womb or those quiet moments He stole away before those ragged mobs desperately called out his name from the bottom of the hill, He always felt His father’s face, like the warm spring sun, looking upon him.
The voices were angry, pushing him away, doing their damnedest to make Him feel quite alone. “He saved others. Why doesn’t he save himself?” It was sort of funny how true that statement sounded. He brought people together, too—a son to his mother, a daughter to her dad, a bloody, unclean woman to her neighborhood. It is not good that man is alone. Yet, now He was alone.
He still remembered the man in the garden. He was alone. The “icon of God” was puzzled at all the animals created to be his helper. Was he really in God’s image if he was alone? Then the spell of sleep, the first sleep, then the amazement, the intimacy, the family, the exclamation, “She is just like me!” The wedding and the party soon followed.
Then the betrayal, the breaking of trust, the hiding, the secrets, the separation, the fear, the dying, the loneliness. They were thrown out of the inn together, but they weren’t together anymore. He no longer really knew her. It seemed that she was two people now. He couldn’t tell. They were like that family people talk about around the water cooler. You know the one. “She’s sleeping around.” “Their son will grow up just like the parents.” “He killed his own brother, for Pete’s sake.” They all have the funny mark. There’s nothing saving them. Dysfunctional. Leave them alone. They shouldn’t breed.
It is not good that the man is alone.
Jesus could have left them all alone. He chose not to. In the garden, a stone’s throw alone from his sleepy friends, He begged His father that perhaps there might be another way. He had never been alone before. He saw the creatures’ dark prisons. He saw billions of people living on the same planet yet completely separated from one another. Some came to the conclusion that there is really nothing. Other’s convinced themselves that it was good to be alone.
Jesus heard the poems, read the philosophies, listened to the Sophocles and Bob Dylans—millions of anthems of loneliness. Yet, they all still greedily pushed each other and God away. The universe itself has been expanding since that terrible day; every atom, every piece and anti-piece floated farther and farther apart from one another, from the beginning and the end.
It’s not good. He wept. Unbind him and let him go!
It must all come back together. He must pull it all back to Himself, into Himself. It is not good for the man to be alone.
His Father turned his face the other way. Darkness. Loneliness. The abyss that humanity touches in the night when their illusions of security slip away only to reveal a great emptiness. He saw them—images of friends, family, kids, lovers, falling forever away into the infinite nothingness or worse, punishment upon punishment.
Jesus was alone like no one has ever been alone. Foxes have holes. Birds have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his…
The disciple walked away, though he pretended he wanted to stay.
The disciples walked away or ran or made up a whole new identity saying, “I’m not even from those parts! Who did you say again?” “Who am I?”
It is not good for man to be alone. His head was pounding. He was thirsty.
Screams, tears, and shouting filled the strange ethnic burg of the great Roman empire. On the other side of the globe, no one knew anything about this strange messiah. But they did know about loneliness.
My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?
For a moment, He forgot. He did not hear His father’s tender voice. He did not feel his breath on the back of his neck. There was nothing.
He was alone. Ecce Homo. Schmerzensmann. Son of Man. Son of Eve. Bastard child. Orphan. Widow. Whore child. If you really are the Son of God…
“It’s not good for the man to be alone.”
From Adam’s side, God formed Eve. From Jesus’ side, God formed a people who would never be alone. From the Son of Man’s side, water and blood poured out like a busted dam, rushing through towns and homes, breaking through everything that got in its way.
Graves were cracked open.
Adam and Eve collapsed in each other’s resurrected arms.
The blood and water still flow just as strong as that first day, filling cups, mouths, and hearts.
It is not good for the man to be alone! The Church sings Jesus’ song marching down highways and byways, grabbing thieves and murderers, tax collectors and porn addicts, separated sinners and even pastors.
The Man brought it all back to himself. The universe is contracting. Can you feel it? Do you hear it? Are you alone?
Repent and believe the Good News!
You are not alone.