Unalone // The 3rd Chair

I used to be far less comfortable with being alone than I am now. In college, whenever anyone would visit my dorm room, I’d find myself lamenting their departure and trying to do all I could to prolong their stay. I’m sure there’s some deep-seeded childhood trauma there but I’m not interested enough to excavate it. Just kidding. I think.

The sense of aloneness is one of the most claustrophobic, disorienting, discouraging, and despair-driving sensations a human can have. And I don’t mean that people can’t live alone or even thrive while being alone, but when that idea that “I’m alone in this (insert trial here)” sets in on the emotional level, it brings with it an isolative mindset that is tough to shake. (Oh, let me introduce you to the word “isolative”. I just made it up.)

That’s why debilitating aloneness is one of the first arrows the enemy draws from his quiver when he sets his sights on your mental, emotional, and spiritual destruction. If he can get you feeling alone, he can take you anywhere he wants.

I’ve recently found myself in conversations that have completely upended the reality that I am being hunted and the crosshairs of aloneness are set on me. I’ve been reminded recently that while I may sometimes feel alone, I have never been actually alone.

There’s a premise I have tried to live in and pass on to others when I am helping resolve conflict. Its the principle of the 3rd chair. It’s as simple as it sounds. There’s you, and there’s me, and there’s God. He is the one in the 3rd chair, attending, listening, prompting, enabling. Its His truth that is the rock we’re on, and not our own.

But if I may, I want to take that sense of Unalone into my (and your) everyday, inhale/exhale existence. I want to live in the deepest knowledge that regardless of the current visibility or lack thereof, I can see God. Not by sight of course, but by faith. And isn’t faith-sight far more important than eyesight? Isn’t what’s unseen the real stuff? After all, if its seen its material and therefore currently decaying right in front of us. But what is unseen is immaterial and therefore untouchable by decay.

So as I’ve had these conversations recently, I’ve been divinely cognizant (can I say that?) of the unaloneness we live in. That comes in the form of a conversation over coffee at Waffle House between friends and the words being exchanged across the table may seem like mere soundwaves, but are actually infused by God with incredibly vital truth that each person needs. Not by human effort, intellect, or slickness but by the Holy Spirit of God being present. There it is. The 3rd chair.

What is it that pulls us away from this unaloneness? What is it that trumps the true sense of walking so close to God that we no longer see Him because of head knowledge but know Him because of faith knowledge? I think identifying the specifics when it comes to our tendency to focus away from that is our first step.

There is far more than our eyes can see. We know that on every level. That’s not even a spiritual statement. If I were an atheist I could say that same thing and be right. But it’s especially true (perhaps most true) on the spiritual level.

With the full knowledge that you are utterly unalone today, I pray that you’ll walk in social, mental, emotional, and spiritual confidence.

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