When You Don’t Want To Be Alone

On a now infamous day in the fall of 2010, there was a meltdown of epic proportions in my home. It was about loneliness and kindergarten and being afraid. I learned something about Jesus through it. This is that story…

Emotions were running high at my house this morning. Tears were in abundance. A complete and utter meltdown took place.  What was the cause of all the drama? Well, Michael has a runny nose.

Normally, the sniffles don’t induce panic, but today’s congestion meant that Michael wouldn’t be going to school. And when Sydney learned that her brother wouldn’t be at her school today, the panic set in.

“But who will look out for me? I won’t see him in the hallway! I need my big brother at school!”

Dim the lights. Cue the music. Here come the tears.

We tried reason and logic, but that didn’t help. We got firm and used our grown-up voices, but that made things worse. We tried a little bribery (that’s our best move), but the attempt was futile. A watershed of emotion had been unleashed and we were all left helplessly in its wake.

“My big brother isn’t going to school today!” Oh the humanity!

In the midst of an indecipherable diatribe about the unfairness of life, Sydney came up with a solution all by herself. It was difficult to understand through the sobs, but we finally decoded her request. “May I draw a picture of Michael to keep with me in my classroom?” A simple and genuine appeal: she wanted an image to hold on to; a picture would calm her fear.

I have one motto when dealing with the women in my life: Anything to stop the tears. If a picture will assuage the angst, let’s draw 100 pictures.  But due to time constraints, we tried something else. We got on the computer and printed a picture that we had taken of the two of them together. It was a picture of them smiling, arm and arm, enjoying a lazy summer day that did not include the sniffles or kindergarten or bribery. Just a brother and a sister hanging out and smiling for the camera.

We printed the picture, cut it out and put it in her pocket.

The sobbing stopped. The tears dried up. Crisis averted.

You know what? Sometimes we just need to know that we are not alone. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we are looked out for. Sometimes we need…a picture. A promise that we can hold onto when we feel uncertain.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus gave us a picture. He gave us a promise when he said “I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. He assured us that we are never alone—that He is always with us. So the next time you feel lonely, remember that picture. Take it out and look at it. He is with you. He is watching out for you. You are never alone.

About Bryan Roberts

A former church planter and lead pastor, Bryan currently works as a writer, helping ministries communicate the Gospel. His passions are his family, writing, communicating grace, building the local church, and the Texas Rangers. He is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute, a veteran of fifteen years in full-time ministry, and a volunteer at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Bryan and his wife, Heather, have two children (Michael and Sydney) who they insist will one day change the world.
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