You Are With Me – Psalm 23:4

Max Lucado in his book Traveling Light, tells the following story:

A friend of mine worked at a pharmacy, and his primary job was to deliver supplies to nursing homes.  An additional task involved a short trip next door.

Every four days, Steve shouldered a large jug of water and carried it to a building behind the pharmacy.  The customer was an older woman, perhaps in her seventies, who lived alone in a dark, sparse and tarnished apartment.  A single light bulb hung from the ceiling.  The wall paper was stained and peeling.  The shades were drawn, and the room was shadowy.  Steve would deliver the jug, receive the payment, thank the woman and leave.

Over the weeks, he grew puzzled by her purchase.  He learned that the woman had no other source of water.  She would rely on his delivery for four days of washing, bathing and drinking.  Odd choice.  Municipal water was cheaper.  The city would have charged her twelve to fifteen dollars a month; her expense at the pharmacy added up to fifty dollars a month.  Why didn’t she choose the less expensive source?

The answer was in the delivery system.  Yes, the city water cost less.  But the city sent only the water; they didn’t send a person.  She preferred to pay more and see a human being than pay less and see no one.

Could anyone be that lonely?  Yes!  Do you know someone who is lonely?  I do.  What will I do?  What will you do this week to care for a lonely person?

Here is some additional wisdom on loneliness:
Coping with Loneliness
Tips for Loneliness

Updated in 2021

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.