There is nothing scarier than being alone. In fact, it is absolutely terrifying for some people, but it is a fear we all likely have. In an attempt to rehabilitate criminals, some correctional facilities utilize a tactic of solitary confinement: using this fear as a punishment. The idea is that the fear of being so alone will cause criminals to behave more civilly. It is also used in interrogation processes to try and get people to tell any secrets they may be hiding. Whether these policies actually have any benefit is a debate itself, but there is one thing we know: we hate to be alone. The crazy thing about this fear is that we, as Christians, are never alone.
There is a wonderful movie starring Tom Hanks called “Cast Away.” The character he plays finds himself on a deserted island after a plane crash in which he is the only survivor. He finds himself alone with only a few items from the crash that have washed up on shore with him. One of the items is a volleyball. While trying to start a fire he injures his hand and in frustration, picks the ball up and throws it, leaving a bloody handprint on the ball. After retrieving the ball and seeing the bloody handprint, he draws eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the ball. He names the ball Wilson and proceeds to start talking to the ball, running ideas by it on how to survive and about his life. It doesn’t take long before he starts to believe that it is a real person. He continues to have a relationship with this ball until right before he is rescued – Wilson just floats away. This character of Wilson created by the very blood from Tom Hank’s character from inside his body allowed him never to be alone. Wilson allowed him to stay sane and to survive. He was never alone.
We are never alone because through our Baptism the sacred blood shed on the hill outside Jerusalem flows inside us. Jesus is a part of our very being and dwells inside us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit may not be with us in the same physical way that Christ was with us but dwells in our very souls. As Christ says, “He will be with you.” It is in our times of loneliness and distress when the Holy Spirit moves in us the most. When we need Him, He is there. All we need to do is talk to Him, our own inner Wilson, but this Wilson never floats away.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever.