Can you imagine speaking a language which no one else can understand?
Or, calling out in a dark forest, night after night, and never receiving a reply? Or, transmitting a message over the radio and never getting a response? Or, being the only one of your kind? Hopefully, you cannot imagine those things. But I suspect, you can, and the thought is disturbing. All of us know some measure of loneliness and have yearned for someone who understands and appreciates us, someone who communicates on our wavelength.
Perhaps that is why the story of a lonely whale – whose unusual call of 52-hertz has gone unanswered year after year – has evoked so much empathy from people around the world. People identify with its “unrequited love” call.
The so-called “World’s Loneliest Whale” or “52-hertz whale” has been tracked every year since 1989. Its call is unusually high-pitched. Most whale calls measure somewhere between 15-40 hertz. This whale is a tenor (or soprano) by comparison. Therefore, no other whales can understand its call nor do they respond. And every time this lonely whale’s been tracked on its annual course in the Northeast Pacific, it’s been traveling alone. Oceanographers suspect the lonely whale might be a hybrid, or the last of its kind, or malformed, or possibly deaf. And since it follows an unusual migratory path, the 52-hertz whale has little chance of meeting others. And although the lonely whale’s been heard many times, no one has ever seen it.
Does this story resonate in your heart as well? Do you feel like your love has been unrequited? Do you, at times, feel like you’re the only one left on earth? Then you’re in good company. Sure, there are millions of others with the same experience. But there is also a Voice that calls out in the universe which seldom receives a reply. There is a Love which largely goes ignored.
But the problem is not that this Voice speaks on the wrong frequency. To the contrary, this Voice zeroes in on the peculiar frequency of every human being. Nor has this unrequited Love left itself unproven. The opposite is true. This supreme Love has nurtured and cared for us since our earliest dawn. It has poured blessing upon blessing into our lap. No, the problem doesn’t lay with the Voice or with the Love of this most ignored Being in the universe. The problem lies with us. Perhaps we’ve been so well-cared for that we’re like selfish little children – all preoccupied with our little kid world. As long as our needs are met, we never give our Supreme Benefactor a single thought.
So, if you ever feel lonely, forgotten, unappreciated, and perhaps invisible – you’re not alone. Your loving Heavenly Father knows exactly how you feel. Even to His own people, God declared, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for my help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens and burning incense on pagan altars” (Isaiah 65:1-3).
When God delights in nothing more than for His children to run into His loving arms, why do we go on ignoring Him? When God wants to do nothing but bless and help us, why do we go on struggling in our own puny strength? If we claim to be so lonely, then why do we run from the God who knows us so intimately and loves us so supremely?
Dear Father in heaven, please forgive my wayward and rebellious spirit. Forgive me for ignoring so great a love as Yours. Into Your loving embrace I now flee. Please accept me, please love me, please heal me and make me Your own. You have made me for Yourself, O God, and I will never know rest until my soul finds rest in You. Amen.