More than 40 years ago The Beatles sang of a woman who seems to have fit that profile - Eleanor Rigby. The repercussions of Eleanor's life of intensely cruel loneliness were that no one noticed her. Late in the song we hear the poignant words, "Eleanor Rigby, died in the church and was buried along with her name. Nobody came."
Funerals are nearly always sad occasions. A funeral attended by no one but the clergyman and the funeral director has its own distinct sadness about it. Imagine, a memorial service for someone who was so estranged from the world that not a single person's life was impacted. A graveside service for woman who died long before her body ceased to function. Her existence was nothing more than that - Existence.
When we think of the forgotten people of the world, we often think of the poor, the elderly, the frail. But what makes this "existence syndrome" so peculiar is that it knows no boundaries. The Eleanor Rigbys of the world can be hard-working, healthy 20-somethings, or any other class of people. Truth be told, there was once a time when I felt I could have been mistaken for Miss Eleanor.
Ahh, look at all the lonely people.
Life didn't have to end this way, Eleanor. You may have felt insignificant in life. You may have asked "Who am I that God should think of me?" Perhaps you may have thought that God didn't think you mattered at all.
If only you could have seen that God created you to do more than just exist. If only you had believed - even just a tiny bit - that God knows you, inside and out, much like the master craftsman knows even the most intricate detail of his signature masterpiece. If only you believed that the masterpiece was you!
And now, Eleanor, you stand in the presence of the One who created you. Did you know that He made you just a little lower than those magnificent heavenly beings that you see about you?
Lift your eyes, Eleanor, and look at His face. Do you recognize Him? Does your heart, your soul, your entire being dance when your gaze meets His? Are you experiencing uncontainable joy, perhaps for the very first time in your existence?
Is your joy tainted, wondering where this had been all of your life?
Eleanor, your time on earth could have been so different. I wish that you could have seen that this joy could have been yours all along, for God was with you the whole time.
If only you just believed.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body,
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:13-16, NLT