Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

Loneliness . . .

. . . and "Yada, Yada, Yada"

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 11 August 2009

“Rather than turn from loneliness,
what if we turned toward it?
Could it be that loneliness is not a curse. . .
but a gift?
A gift from God?”
~Max Lucado,
Traveling Light: The Promise of Psalm 23

It was the 153rd Episode -- the 19th Episode of the 8th Season of the TV show, Seinfeld. The "Yada, Yada, Yada" episode. Surely you remember it . . . .

George is -- as usual -- overanxious and sensitive. He is concerned about his girlfriend's use of the phrase, "yada, yada, yada," as a way of getting past what to her are meaningless details.

Alas, Elaine steps in to reassure George . . .
George: You don't think she'd yada yada sex?
Elaine: I've yada yada'd sex.
George: Really?
Elaine: Yeah, I met this guy. We went out to dinner. I had the lobster bisque. We went back to his place. Yada, yada, yada. I never heard from him again.
Jerry: But you yada yada'd over the best part.
Elaine: No. I mentioned the bisque.

Needless to say, Seinfeld fans everywhere have forever secured "Yada, Yada, Yada" in their unconscious thesaurus as a synonym for sex.

Kinda' ironic since the Hebrew word "yada" refers to "knowing" another so intimately and completely that it is a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse. We read in Genesis 4:1 that "Adam knew" ("yada") Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain...."

Forgive my sacrilege, but this is precisely how too many Christians have come to describe the most important, personal and relational aspect of being a Christian -- Salvation. For the most part, we "yada, yada, yada" over the actual salvation experience, racing right past (or skipping altogether) the acceptance of our depravity before a Holy God and the cultivating of an intimate and deep relationship with the only ONE that can save us from our sin and depravity.

A great number of churches today confuse human intellect and the ability to act like a Christian and think like a Christian and perform like a Christian for the real thing! The defining characteristic of a Christian is not necessarily a lifestyle (or lack of a certain [undesirable] lifestyle), but a relationship with Christ Jesus as Savior.

Our ability to rationalize and convince others we are a "Christian" by the way we act and think and speak and behave and dress and vote and how we spend our time and money is a hilarious substitute for the real thing. A substitute with eternal consequences.

French philosopher René Descartes coined the phrase, Cognito, ergo sum, translated: I think, therefore I am. Yeah, I've seen the various humor-indulged versions:
I think, therefore I imac,
I think, therefore I vote Repub
lican, etc.

Funny. But while our ability to think and reason and behave does indeed set us apart from the rest of Creation and make us unique among other human beings, a biblical understanding that we are created in the image of God makes us relational beings as well! Like our Creator, we have been created in such a way that we require both human and Divine connection. So much so that lack of connectedness (or loneliness) truly is a critical state of existence!

And . . . [This is key:] a complete and full understanding of our condition before God shows us that it is not fellow human beings that we are disconnected from, but God Himself!!

Hence: The entire unfolding of the Plan of Salvation beginning in the Book of Genesis when human beings became lost and alone and cut-off and secluded and forlorn and abandoned. . . .
Hey! All synonyms for . . . lonliness!
...So basically,
loneliness defines the human condition!

“Rather than turn from loneliness,
what if we turned toward it?
Could it be that loneliness is not a curse. . .
but a gift?
A gift from God?”
~Max Lucado

Is loneliness a "gift" from the Creator sent that we might find a greater gift? The gift of Genuine Salvation? Salvation by Grace Alone? Salvation apart from our own ability to do anything? Even our ability to think and reason and rationalize . . . and perform?

I think so . . .

I also think that the pseudo-loneliness that we feel when we are physically apart from -- or without -- friends and loved ones is greatly diminished when we can truly rest in the arms of our Savior. We all know "lonely" people who have found immense joy in their Salvation. Joy that quashes human "loneliness." These people are not lonely - they are alone. There is a big difference.
Then . . .
To confirm it -- this:

I read this Status Update on my Facebook over the weekend and I just had to wrinkle my forehead a bit at its implications . . .

Facebook Friend lol oh! I mean L-O-N-E-L-Y. So [bleep] lonely. I'm hyper bored and so lonely layin in bed watchin tv and doing computer. FB is all I have. i should sleep but it’s too early. I’m just so lonely it hurts feels like i ant gonna find any friends ever. It hurts
Sat at 7:41pm · Comment · Like

I think my Facebook Friend has recieved the gift of lonliness, but hasn't yet unwrapped it . . . .

~ Esthermay V. Bentley-Goossen
© 2009 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife
[This article also submitted for outside publication]

This installment of InOtherWords is hosted by Loni on her blog, Writing Canvas.


Denise said...

My dear friend, you are such a blessing to my soul. I love your wisdom.

Barbara said...

Your posts are always worth re-reading. I get so much more the second and third time.

"The defining characteristic of a Christian is not necessarily a lifestyle (or lack of a certain [undesirable] lifestyle), but a relationship with Christ Jesus as Savior."

oh so true! AMEN. I have a catholic friend who is searching right now. She comes to our Bible Study and I want to share this with her. She's a sienfeld fan too. LoL!

sara said...

so good to have you back writing!! I have missed it!

MiPa said...

Welcome back! Wonderful post. Loneliness can feel like a place of no connectedness, but it is in that place that we can truly connect with God the Father. Bless you for sharing.

Joan said...

Excellent. I've struggle with lonliness for most of my life but it was only through my struggle that I came to know how superficial my "salvation" really was. There is so very much truth here.
I've missed your writing too.

iowachic said...

Good post. You are an excellent writer and great teacher.
This is my favorite Seinfeld episode and you make me see in in a brand new way.

iowachic said...

P.S. I've missed you blogging too

Rachel M. said...

Good to have you back! Yes, loneliness can be a gift, because it reminds us of how much we need our Savior! I think Hell is the loneliest place ever invented, because, on top of its other horrors, it is eternal separation from God's presence. I'm so happy I have Jesus!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am sure you were an encouragement to your lonely friend too. So many lonely, searching . . .

Tami Boesiger said...

Tell me how you would tell someone like your Facebook friend to unwrap that gift? I've found when someone is so low, that words bounce off them. They have a hard time accepting any explanations. How do you handle this as a counselor? How do you get someone to really see their loneliness as a gift?

Patricia said...

I think that loneliness without God is the worst loneliness there is. I still remember those days BG. Thank you for sharing some great thoughts.

sharon said...

This is beautiful.
You touch the heart of the reason so many people are lonely because churches do not preach salvation anymore. I was saved in a small group Bible study that split off of a church. I'd given up on organized church years ago. When will Christians learn.there are so many lonely people who need Jesus. Stop the politics of church and be a CHURCH.
I imagine your friend on facebook will more sooner be led to the Savior by social networking than a church.
You always speek truth here.
thank you

LauraLee Shaw said...

Powerful insights. Wow, it'll stick with me.

kalopoieo said...

Preach, my friend. Preach!
You are correct that churches don't preach Salvation. But then again, it was not organized "church" that brought the Salvation message to the First Century Christians, was it?

. . . I do not understand Facebook

Susan said...

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. . . Proverbs 10:11

I've missed you my friend.

Welcome back.

This was incredible, and so true. If only we could recieve all the many gifts God longs to share with us.

Many times the wrapping scares us.


Kathy S. said...

Beautifully expressed truth once again! I have often thought the same thing, only could never communicate it the way you have...

To find The Answer for every longing in the arms of Jesus is indeed the greatest gift!

Kristen said...

that was absolutely beautiful and so well written. It made me think about the times when I do feel lonely I just need to reach towards my Heavenly Father and I know He won't leave me lonely.

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