Only the Lonely
Only the Lonely
When four kids find themselves alone during a difficult time, each finds a special truth from God which brings great comfort and companionship.This book is a great encouragement gift for children or adults feeling lost in a new situation.
"This is the perfect book for my daughter since we moved and she doesn't know anyone at her school."
ONLY THE LONELY: THE BACK STORY (by author Jane Van Antwerp)
Only the Lonely is not just a book for kids, though kids looooove this personal book, too. In September of 1995, the late Walt Gerber was about to preach an extraordinary sermon about God being with us in hard times. ,I really wanted to pull out all the stops for this children's sermon. ,ut I was stuck coming up with a how to visualize my idea. After a quick lunch down the street from the church, I walked into the stationary store for inspiration. I stumbled upon a "temporary" glue stick. I now knew how I could do my crazy idea. On large poster boards, I drew four lonely situations for kids and in each picture I drew Jesus with the person. Then, using my new revolutionary temporary glue stick, I attached poster board cut-outs changing each kid's expression and hiding the image of Jesus. It worked!!! In that weekend's worship services, even with the kids sitting on the steps in front of the sanctuary, they had a hard time seeing what was going to happen. But when I peeled off the cut-outs and revealed Jesus there was a sweet gasp.
Jesus is with us. That is reality, even in the worst situations. That truth can bring us great comfort and courage. This is why Only the Lonely is a favorite of adults and even teens. At a Blue Box Book table in a retirement community, a resident was browsing. She smiled and said her grandchildren were young adults but she didn't have any great grandchildren yet. She picked up our prayer book and started smiling. I said, "You don't have to have a kid in your life to love these books." She smiled, finished reading and laughed. "You don't mind if I stand here and read all 12 of the books?" Of course not! She then picked up the next book, Only the Lonely, and started to cry. "These are so good!" Before her tears were dry, she purchased the first three Blue Box Books, just for herself.
A few fun notes about Only the Lonely:
- I named the four children in the book after my parents and my in-laws - Anita and Kenneth Van Wyk and Lewis and Dorie Van Antwerp.
- The book is excellent, but it's even cooler as a children's sermon, projected on big screens. I even redid the old poster boards and made a small compact version for a friend doing Only the Lonely at his church's junior summer camp. One camper, realizing that this was a book she owned, whispered to her counselor: "I have this book!" Her mom later told me that when she was younger she had read it every night for 2 months.
- I wrestled long and hard about the cover illustration on the book; I felt like it would get dismissed as a little girl book. Apparently the Holy Spirit still uses it!