The light over the kitchen sink, cast an eerie glow. The stillness was almost deafening. She moved with short, thoughtful steps from one room to the other. Were she to fall, would anyone know? Her mind filled with thoughts of laying alone in the stillness, unable to move, unable to call for help. The blue light from the silent television screen fell upon her. Closed captioning spewed words that couldn’t be heard. A night alone in a house that normally held two would become a prison of sorts – a lonely cell with no sound, no interaction, no communication.
Sound like the opening of a dark mystery, a film noir, a terrifying Hitchcock movie? Not really. Just my own little world this weekend. As you know, I am an old movie buff. I spent most of my childhood at the movies. It was a time when you could get into the theatre, buy some popcorn and soda pop all for under a dollar and spend the entire day in the same seat watching the same movie over and over.
Now, since we have access to a plethora of old movies for free, I feel like a kid in that same movie theatre 70 years later. Only now, I don’t have to contend with walking over sticky floors filled with spilled popcorn or noisy kids who were throwing said popcorn all over the place. This weekend I was alone. I used to treasure alone weekends, because I could feast on old movies to my heart’s content. I could watch what I wanted, could cry until my eyes turned red, didn’t have to move if I didn’t want to. I was totally immersed. Lately, the alone times aren’t as exciting.
As I sat in my chair, flipping from one film to another, from “Citizen Kane,” to “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” to “Psycho,” “Shadowlands,” “The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit,” “David & Bathsheba,” “Halls of Montezuma,” “Gas Light,” I was separating myself from a world I didn’t want to be part of anymore. Not that I was ready to jump off a cliff or anything. I just didn’t want to hear anymore of it. I wanted to be 8 years old again, sitting in a movie theatre, eating popcorn with my eyes fixed on a different place for an entire day. That is precisely what I did for two and a half days.
It got me to thinking what my life would be if I was totally alone all the time. I am fortunate to still have my husband to encourage me every day. He is a great motivator and more often than not, inspires me to seek the important things in life. Some day that may not be the case. What will I do then? This isn’t a thought I like to dwell on, but will I spend every waking hour glaring at a screen, exchanging my world with that of other? I hope not. I know there is more for me to do. I know that I’ll be directed to fill my time with things that matter.
As long as I live, I know I am not alone. Even when I’m the only one in the house, I am not alone. Even when I turn off the television set and turn in for the night, I know that I am not alone. As long as I can have that assurance, I will continue living in the world. I may be physically by myself, but God will always be there. I may resist the world outside and seek refuge in the truth of God’s Word, where I am never alone. I may fill the room with temporary company from an old movie, but that will not last. I know I can count on the presence of my loving God.
“And lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20