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Throughout my years in ministry, there have been regular instances when some sort of enlightenment occurred; a light bulb moment; an epiphany; a connection made between certain Scriptures or ideas that I had never pondered before; the realization of an analogy or parallel that could be drawn between some mundane, earthly thing and a spiritual reality; a seed thought for a sermon or article.  Historically, a significantly high percentage of these moments have come while in the shower or while pushing or riding a lawn mower.  I’m not necessarily proud of that fact, and I have no real explanation for it.  It just is what it is.     

Early one morning last week, while rinsing the shampoo out of my hair, I detected the sound of Coleman coming up the stairs.  Mind you, I heard this through a wall and above the sound of pressurized water hitting the top of my head.  When Coleman ascends the stairs, even barefoot, he does so with a definitive, wall-penetrating “thump, thump, thump.”  He had apparently gotten out of bed while I was in the shower and had made a trip downstairs, which he does with much more stealth than he does coming up.  To my relief, Kim had heard him leave his room and had gotten up to check on him.  It’s not that I was concerned about his safety.  He just needs assistance with his meals, and he has this little habit of leaving the refrigerator door open and/or the milk container on the countertop when he’s foraging for food or something to drink, or he leaves the garage refrigerator open when he absconds with a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.  Kim tended to his needs, prevented the appliances from defrosting, and sent Coleman happily stomping back up the stairs.      

That’s when it hit me:  Coleman is never alone, and he never has been.  In his 27 years of life, he has never been without the presence of another person.  Although he sleeps in his own room (most of the time anyway!), we sleep in the adjacent room with the door open so that we can hear his door if it opens in the middle of the night.  He regularly plays on his computer and on his iPad in his room, but someone is always just downstairs.  He has never been left alone… anywhere… ever… not even for a second.  If he is not with one or both of us, he is with someone we know and trust, someone who loves him and cares about him.

Then, what had hit me once hit me again:  None of us are ever alone.  Even when we might think we are.  Even when there are no other humans near us.  Even in those seemingly solitary moments when we might feel isolated, or lonely, or forgotten.  Our faithful, loving Father, who cannot lie, has promised, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side,” (Hebrews 13:5).

Never alone.

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