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We live in a culture that comes just short of ridiculing anyone who implies they need help. We like our independence. We like to be able to say “I did it! And I did it my way!”

Ironically, at the same time, Psychologists tell us that we are a ‘lonely people’. A recent study showed that nearly half of the people interviewed felt isolated and alienated from their peers.

I wonder if Solomon was thinking of loneliness and alienation when he wrote these verses in Ecclesiastes. Certainly as king of Israel he needed no one, and if he did, they were at his beck and call. Yet there was a loneliness there. A realization that no one is an island regardless of their political, social or financial stature.

While there are exceptions of course, generally speaking people who reach out to help people are generally those that others are willing to help. Jesus story of the Good Samaritan teaches us that everyone is our neighbor and so, each of us has a responsibility to reach out a helping hand. The help we receive isn’t a reason to help, it’s a side-benefit.


I remember the conversation well. He’s a personal friend who happens to be a billionaire as well. One day in conversation he said to me, rather sheepishly, “I don’t even know how much money I have. But God has blessed me to I can bless others.”

What a stunning statement. In a way it reminded me of King Solomon. He, like my friend, could have had anything his heart desired. Solomon sought all the earthly things. Gold, kingdoms, women, but none of them brought happiness. Finally in exasperation he confessed that there is nothing of any true value in earthly possessions. True value comes only from God.

Are riches bad? Of course not. Is it wrong to have a happy home, a good retirement and a whole bunch of friends? Of course not. But when those things take precedence over your relationship with Jesus, trouble is bound to happen!

Now, before you read this and smugly sit back and say, I got this covered, BEWARE! The enemy of our souls loves to deceive us into complacency and apathy. I have started the practice of trying to start my day with a prayer to ask God to use me and end my day with a prayer to ask God to search me, to dig deep into the words I say and the attitudes I have to make sure my life is in tune with him.

True blessing comes from the heart set on Jesus.


Those who have been bruised know pain like no one else. They’ve experienced the rejection. They have endured the guilt. They have wandered the wilderness of loneliness. No two bruised reeds handle pain in the same way. Some explain it away; some hide it under denial, chemicals or pseudo relationships. Some wear it as a badge and look for some sort of comfort in letting others know about their pain. This works for awhile, until people get tired of hearing about it.

The smoldering wicks of our world die a thousand deaths every day. The unmet expectations of others constantly remind them of their failure and guilt. The constant attacks of their inner being shame them into the realization (in their eyes) that they will never amount to anything; that they were some sort of cosmic mistake.

Jesus brings justice if we will listen. Unlike the justice of our society, which is based on man’s external assessment of the situation, the justice Jesus brings is truth. Not truth based on societies standards. Not truth which will come at some point in the future, truth that is here today. Jesus tells us the real truth about us. He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two. He’s seen every bruise. He knows every crushed dream. He’s gentle with your past failures (including the self-inflicted ones) and seeks to fan into flame the potential he gave you when he created you in his image to be a masterpiece.

Jesus knows the truth about you and loves you passionately.


If you’ve ever walked through a swampy area you’ve seen them. Some are trampled down. Some are bent over. Virtually all of them are at some level of being wounded. Reeds of every size and shape standing vulnerable to the elements.

Life can be like that swamp. We go through life and get stomped on, damaged, and wounded. For some it’s broken relationships. The person we once thought a soul mate is suddenly gone, and with their departure, there’s a gaping hole in your soul.

For some it may be shattered dreams. You’ve worked hard towards a goal, only to have the rug pulled out from under you and you are left holding a thousand different pieces of a puzzle you know you will never get back together again.

When life heads south; when we go through some life changing event, we become extremely fragile. The slightest breeze can break us. The brush of a passing situation can be our undoing.

Jesus showed throughout his time on earth that he had the soft compassion that would heal the most fragile of lives; that would move so gently that even the most bruised reed would not be broken.

You can come to Jesus with your fragile heart. You can come to Jesus with your bruised heart. You can know that his gentleness will help you through the pain. He’s the great healer.


I love the raw emotion of David in the songs he wrote (Psalms). They are filled with virtually every type of emotion from anger to fear; from frustration to doubt; from confession to loneliness. Virtually ever song ends with a acknowledgement of God’s unending, unfailing, unconditional love.

So with such a great God on our side, why would anyone run from him? I’m not sure there are any easy answers but it’s been happening since the beginning of time, with the first two humans to ever walk this earth.

What an amazing relationship Adam and Eve must have had with the triune God. At the end of every day they had the opportunity to walk in the cool of the evening; to talk with him about all the things they’d seen throughout the day; to ask him first hand, eye to eye, about life.

They were completely naked physically, spiritually and emotionally! Boggles my mind!

Then that fateful evening came. The Heavenly Father, the Triune God, came as he always did to walk with the loves of his life…but they were gone. They ran. They hid. Not only did they hide from their loving Father, they hid from each other behind fig leaves. And so the story goes on.

We still do it of course. We see our failings; we grieve over our weaknesses; we hide and blame and pass on the responsibility of our guilt to others. It’s been going on for thousands of years.

One other thing hasn’t changed. He still comes for you. Still seeks you out. In spite of your failings, still passionately desires to be intimately involved with you. He won’t judge. He won’t accuse. He only wants to love on you a bit.

Why do we run from that?! Maybe it’s time we come out of the bushes and renew a love relationship.

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