When I was in high school the musical group Three Dog Night sang from every juke box in the country convincing us that, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” If you know the lyrics, you will remember that life doesn’t get any better with two because something bad divides them. Who listens to all that repetitious dark agony? I mean – on purpose? Apparently, I did, since that’s the very first thing that popped into my mind when I heard the Five-Minute Friday writing prompt for this week: ONE
I hope you aren’t disappointed that I’m not going to tell you a story related to being a loneliest ONE. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the one who fills in dark, empty spaces with the light of life. Jesus said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” I spent a week at a condo with seven other women. It didn’t hurt that the condo was in Florida, two blocks from the beach where the sand was as white as snow, but lots warmer. Before your mind plants images of a mastermind-business-social-networking group meeting to plan success strategies for 2019, let me stop you right there. There was no mastermind, business, strategy, or networking – and we didn’t even mention 2019, although I confess at one point someone counted the days until Christmas.
One day in October one of the women said, “By the way, my son has a condo that isn’t rented for a week in November. Who wants to go with me? It sleeps eight.” Through a whirlwind of phone calls, text messages, and personal invitations, eight women purchased plane tickets and the event was cement. Right about then we asked the question. “What did we just do?”
None of us knew more than the profile of our cooperative vacation: the group consisted of eight women from completely different life experiences and with dissimilar backgrounds – and we just committed to spending an entire week under one roof. Now is when you roll your eyes.
Five days into our stay, we had walked the beach, shopped, chosen unfamiliar restaurants, cooked together, cleaned up together, put four jigsaw puzzles together (the hard kind), hopped on a bus going the wrong direction (for many miles), and held on tight while our designated drivers navigated crazy city traffic (complete with traffic circles). We sang hymns together, read scripture together, prayed together, and there was a little crying together too.
There was never a hint of bad attitude, ego, controversy, or self-promotion. Too many cooks spoil the stew? No, not in our circle! Every meal was a delicious treat from fresh fruit, to smoothies, to eggs, to bacon, to sausage, to pancakes, French toast, sandwiches, to caramel corn, to ice cream. How do you combine personalities, proficiencies, and practices without creating tension and discord? It is because of the ONE shared experience, shared faith in the Light of the World who is the light of life.
Every evening at 7:00 pm we gathered around the family room and sang hymns proclaiming our faith in Jesus and praying for each other. We memorized Amos 4:13 (with lots of help from a song written by one of the women). Each night one woman led the study time elaborating on one phrase.
He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the LORD God Almighty is his name.
One is not the loneliest number. The one God who formed the mountains and created the wind, sent His one and only Son into the world to save mankind out of darkness. That is not lonely. Because of our love for Jesus, our hearts were filled with grace and kindness and compassion for each other. Jesus is why one is not the loneliest number.
Eight women, who shared love of Jesus, co-habited a condo for seven glorious days because of the ONE who came to save mankind out of darkness. Isaiah 50:10 says, “Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”
If this becomes an annual event, sign me up for Session 2.