At the Silent Word Ministries office, part of my responsibility is to manage the mailing lists for some of our missionaries and The Silent Word newspaper. Even though I have not met most of the people on the lists, when I see the names it seems I have a connection. It is a blessing to me to know that so many people care, believe in, and support the missionaries serving with SWM.
The Silent Word, a bi-monthly Christian newspaper dedicated to the Deaf, sent free to a readership of about 40,000. It is an important outreach to Deaf people. In it we share the Gospel, teach important Bible truths, and offer helps for interpreters for the Deaf. We list local church deaf ministries, Deaf churches, and other deaf related organizations. And we keep SWM and others informed as to “what’s happening” in the Deaf community. We hear often from Deaf people saying how much they love the newspaper. Some have said it is their only source of Christian instruction. Others say that they live in isolation from other Deaf people, and the newspaper keeps them connected. We are thrilled that, through the newspaper, we can be a source of encouragement and help.
No Forwarding Address
Almost every week, the post office returns newspapers to us because the recipient has moved, or the address is not good, or the recipient has deceased. I smile when I see the newspaper marked, “Deceased, No Forwarding Address.”
I don’t think there is a postal service in Heaven (Smile). Sometimes we get letters or e-mails from individuals saying that they no longer receive the newspaper. Usually, the reason is that the person moved and failed to send us the new address. (Moving? Be sure to send us your new address.) SWM wants to keep you on our mailing list.
A few weeks ago, SWM received a note in the mail. I quote, “My husband, Gary, is passed away died last September, 2021. Stop mail for Gary. Send Alone Person (gave address), June (wife’s name)……..” Also, I recently received a message from a dear friend who is divorced. I quote, “Pray for me. I am scared. First time being alone and sick.”
These messages made me start thinking about the “Alone Person.” I know there are many, especially in the Deaf world. All of us at one time or another will experience the feeling of being an “alone person.” Even in a crowd, that feeling can come over us. The year my Dad passed away, Ted and I were in a meeting in Minnesota. A call came from an aunt saying that dad had been taken to the hospital in serious condition and that I should come home. A flight was arranged. During a layover in Memphis, I telephoned to ask about Dad. Reluctantly, my aunt told me that he had passed away. In that busy airport, amid many people, I was alone. As I wept with sorrow, no one was there to console and comfort me. I was an “alone person.” While on earth, even the Lord Jesus experienced being alone. He spoke to His disciples before His crucifixion and said, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32). In Creation, God intended that we live in community with Himself and with one another. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). But sin and wrong entered our world because of disobedience. It continues today damaging relationships and leaving many alone. This feeling of being alone can be caused by many things: friends walk away; divorce; children reject parents; parents reject children; churches divide; old age; loss of dear ones through death; loss of contact with friends and relatives; terminal illness; wrong choices; differing political and religious opinions, etc. Yes, somewhere in our lives we will be an “alone person.” But, if we are God’s child, we should remember that we are loved, even if we are completely alone in our earthly relationships.
Yet, I Am Not Alone
Although we may feel alone or truly be alone because of difficult situations in our lives, we can say as Jesus said, “and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” He has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:4). The same as He promised Joshua, the Lord says to us, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed (overwhelmed): for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Josh. 1:9). Another promise is, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…” (Psa. 23:4). Remember, as God’s child, no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves, whether we just feel alone or are truly left alone, we have a Father in Heaven who is always with us and who will never leave us. We never need to be an “Alone Person.” Words of an old hymn.
No, Never Alone
When in affliction’s valley I tread the road of care, My Savior helps me to carry the cross so heavy to bear; Tho’ all around me is darkness, earthly joys all flown; My Savior whispers His promise, Never to leave me alone!” “No, never alone, No, never alone, He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.
This is written because I care…Carlene