4 Ways To The Wilderness

{By Diane Bailey}   


(Tammy, published her post last week and unbeknownst to her or each other, Diane had already written “4 Ways To The Wilderness.”  We’ve known God to repeat themes, typically to make His point evident and to know that the God of this Universe is talking straight at us. Maybe He is doing that for you or for someone you know? Regardless, we’re listening to a God who knows.)


A Polish political prisoner was held in a Russian prison for fifty years and though this is a horribly long time, I was more offended that all of his time was spent in solitary confinement.  Most of his interactions with another human were when food was shoved under the door.


Twenty-five years into his prison sentence a psychologist brought the prisoner out to evaluate him.  His findings were the man was not intelligible and he could speak only gibberish that could not be understood by anyone.  Then, the man was placed back into solitary confinement for another twenty-five years.


But after fifty years in confinement, a different psychologist evaluated him. His findings showed this man was very intelligent, but spoke an old dialect of Polish, which had not been heard since before he was incarcerated.


When he was finally released from prison and given a place to live, the neighbors having heard the story came to meet him.  One brought a mirror so he could see himself, because he had not seen his face for fifty years.  When he looked in the mirror, he cried, because he did not recognize the man he had become.


New Picture (6)


Sometimes, we are Put into a lonely place by the decisions of others.


I cannot imagine fifty years without a conversation with another human being.  We were created to be in community, to talk with each other. This must be one of the most cruel punishments one human can inflict on another – to remove all community.  Maybe your prison is not of brick and mortar; you are locked away and walled up by the backs of others who have turned away from you.  This still result in being alone and is the result of the choices of others.


Sometimes, we Walk into the loneliness by our own choice.


It is easy when we have been hurt by others to want to hide-away.  We avoid certain stores to avoid an awkward encounter, or drive a different route to avoid the house of one who has hurt us – working hard to give the appearance of not hurting, and not caring.


Avoiding situations to protect ourselves from pain only entombs us in a prison of our own making. Eliminating all that causes pain will eventually result in solitary confinement.


Isolation for the purpose of insulation results in self-imposed incarceration.


Isolation for the purpose of eliminating the pain of society will never fully achieve what we desire.  We want peace and the sense of well-being. But frequently this course of action causes us to ruminate the wrong done to us, keeping the prison walls firmly in place.


Sometimes, we are Called away to a lonely place by the Lover of our soul.


At times, Jesus went into isolation up in the mountains all-alone – Away from the crowds of wounded and hurting people.  Away from those who wanted to be around so they could find more reasons to insult him or who wanted to be around him for what he could offer them.


He pulled away from the opinion of others to seek the opinion of the One who has a true understanding of who He is and understood His true purpose on earth.


If we remove the things that identifies us in the world like job status, religious affiliation, or neighborhood we live, or people we call friends – if all of it is removed down to the mirror and the comb for our hair, who would we find?


The purpose for being called away to a lonely place is for spending time listening to God. This is time for God to restore you for the journey, to instruct you in the way to go, and to inspire your creativity for lifea time for Him to describe the person in the mirror. This is the true Image of who we are and what our life is about.


 “So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:10


{Credit of story about Polish prisoner: NPR Radio}

New PictureDiane Bailey believes God has equipped each of us for the life we are living. But sometimes it takes friends to help us sift through that arsenal of tools. She is always curious about what motivates a person to make the choices they do, more than the choice itself – then walks with them in finding answers. Diane believes that God never leaves us, so she continually looks for Christ in our everyday life, knowing that he is there in the smallest details. She is the author of String of Pearls and has been on various radio and Tv telling of God’s love for those who have been wounded. Diane makes her home with her husband in the Deep South. She is the mother of two, stepmother of two and grandmother of three. Diane contributes her talents in words as part of the writing team. You can find her on her blog, facebook and twitter.


5 Comments on “4 Ways To The Wilderness

  1. I love this story because it’s so fascinating. The isolation was perceived to make him crazy and unintellible. But the reality is that he simply wasn’t being heard, wasnt being understood. I wonder when we come in from the wilderness — with sackcloth on our back and locust breath — if we are simply not understood. They’ll call us crazy, but….

    It’s easy to put myself in this role of the one in the wilderness, but how do I treat others who return? Do I listen?
    Wonderful piece

    • Thank you David. There are many lessons in this man’s story, and I still think about him and wonder, if I am understanding others who have walked a different life, or do I judge them as a simpleton?

  2. “Isolation for the purpose of insulation results in self-imposed incarceration.”

    Those words echo in the halls of pain and loneliness. They ring into the hearts of those who need to know the truth. There is a Redeemer!!!! We are not alone. No. Never.

    Sometimes He moves us into isolation so we can rest – rest in Him. The world is screaming so loud we can’t hear Him. The holy hush is a powerful and an amazing healer.

  3. Diane, surely the ‘Divine Librarian’ (HT LL Barkat) is orchestrating the words here at OTCG. Your lines,
    “Avoiding situations to protect ourselves from pain only entombs us in a prison of our own making. Eliminating all that causes pain will eventually result in solitary confinement.

    Isolation for the purpose of insulation results in self-imposed incarceration.” ring so very true.
    May God use yours and Tammy’s posts to penetrate hearts.

    Good words.

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