When vision turns into reality
AS THE AUTHOR OF at least ten books, Delores Callender-Taylor thought that she could easily include a chapter or note on loneliness at any stage.
Yet she said when God “showed” her in a vision that he wanted her to write a book entirely about loneliness, she didn’t think initially she could do it. Three years would pass before Callender-Taylor would finally write The Lonely Life Without Christ and take it to be published.
“I had a vision about three years ago . . . . I was asleep and it was this quick dream and it was of a suspended cross in the clouds, I got the colour and the scheme and then I saw the lonely life without Christ,” she said. “I wrote a few notes and I had the notes on it in a drawer and I would run into it every now and again but would always tell myself that I was no ready as yet.”
Callender-Taylor thought loneliness was common, that everyone experienced it at some point, but she wondered where she would find the content to speak fully on the “without Christ”.
“We all go through loneliness. I can be by myself but not feel lonely. I have never had an enduring or pervasive loneliness, but there are some people who always want to occupy that space,” she said.
With eight weeks to go before her publishing date, Callender-Taylor began the book from scratch.
“I have never written a book where I have cried so much as I have with this one,” she admitted. “I could not think that something that came from outside of me could involve so much emotion.”
Callender-Taylor said God showed her that the roots of loneliness were embedded in the Garden of Eden experience in The Bible, where Christians believe separation from God occurred.
“We always try to tackle loneliness socially, financially and materially, but never really recognise the spiritual roots of loneliness,” she said.
The faces of loneliness that were “revealed” to her were the lonely Christian, the lonely single, the childless lonely, the desperate lonely, the hidden lonely; everyday people the world might not know are struggling with isolation.
She would also see the lonely jetsetters – the people who supposedly live the rich lifestyle but they are living off a credit card – using one card to pay for another or using it to buy plane tickets to get away from the problem and the loneliness.
Technological gadgets have become the new loneliness filler for some, she said, while others get a child or husband but still are lonely.
However, it was the homeless lonely and the orphan lonely that drew her tears. “For a child who has to go live in a strange setting, a child who has never known the love of a biological mother or father, a family; that is a form of loneliness, but I want people to know if the heavenly love, the love that circumvents every other love that you can think of,” she said.
That is why Callender-Taylor is convinced that the book was made to be written at a specific time and for a reason. She said the book also showed how loneliness brought purpose and how to turn loneliness into power.
The book, she said, put forward the view that the Christian became lonely by drinking habitually from “the cup of the world”. They are getting involved in secular activities, she went on, and are attending church because it is a social gathering.
At the beginning of the book, readers can seek to gauge their loneliness by answering 30 questions, and when they get to the end of the book there is another set of questions which show “God’s thermometer” on loneliness and how it can be solved through Christ.
She said the book has met a good response since it was released on December 15. “People have been saying they never thought of loneliness like that; they think that loneliness is for the homeless, the widowed, the elderly in retirement homes, the person in the hospital that no one comes to visit but the book has actually shown that loneliness is on their doorstep, that it is about the condition of man who is estranged from God and God allows loneliness to bring purpose in our lives.”
Additionally, many people have said that it was timely for them because they were going through an experience. “There are people who say they have finished it and it has fed their soul,” she said. “Some are saying they cannot put it down, this is really touching, and this is really rubbing some areas in my life.”
She is working on a new book, The Seven Virtues That Will Bring You Joy, which will be published in time for Easter.
Callender-Taylor is also working on a daily devotional.