“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.”

Some of you are thinking, “What does that mean?”  Others, “Now, where have I heard that?”  Some of you are grimacing, “Huh?”  And a few of my contemporaries are smiling, “Yes!  Three Dog Night from 1969, a very good year!”  By the way, in Eskimo jargon, it is said a three dog night is cold enough to warrant sleeping with three dogs for warmth.  Thus the name of this wildly popular rock band.  And don’t ask me why.

Let’s get back to “one.”  I recall how Jesus one day—busy, tired, and hungry—took time to stop and talk to one Samaritan woman beside a well.  He looked beyond her skin into her barren and lonely eternal soul and initiated the conversation by asking for help.  Soon He turned the dialogue to her spiritual need.  “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.  Could this be the Messiah?’” (John 4:28-29).  She left her old water jar behind for she had found Living Water.

“And because of his words many more became believers” (v. 41).  Hear this:  Jesus touched the lives of many because He touched one.  Jesus loves the one.  One is lonely without Him.

We must guard against identifying with the priest and the Levite who were too busy and self-important to take the time to help the one in need (Luke 10:25-37).  They pretended not to see and so refused to stoop and minister to one so needy.  They believed the beaten and robbed man was too far beneath their class and calling and not worthy of their time or attention.

Sure, I have things to do today.  I have my day planned and fully scheduled with good things.  “But Lord, help me not to miss the one.  Give me your boldness, wisdom, and words to speak.”  I want to see the one as God sees them—with eyes of love and grace-filled compassion—the one His Son died for.  One is more important than my personal agenda.

That one I stop and talk to today may be the next “woman at the well” who, after encountering Jesus, leads her entire city to the Lord.  No longer lonely, but loved.