John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Solitary?

Maybe you've heard or read this piece before:

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn't go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned -- put together -- have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.

-- James Allen Francis

I've used this before, but I read it again the other day and discovered a word that really bothers me. Don't get me wrong, the sentiment is great, and it really is a powerful piece. But that one word -- the next-to-last word -- I can't get past it. It's become all I see.

Solitary?

If we mean "solitary" as in "unique" -- that I can get on board with. But that's not what we usually mean when we use the word. Usually we mean "isolated, secluded or alone". We use this word to describe a recluse or a hermit or someone who is a bit stand-off-ish.

That doesn't describe the Jesus I read about in the Bible.