David speaks of loneliness in the Psalms. Lady Antebellum, Justin Beiber and Billy Idol are just a few of the artists who have written songs about feeling alone in the last few decades. The Beatles sang about all the lonely people way back in 1969. One of my favorite songs to blast and it helps keep me focused. That song saturated my brain as a child and impacted my thinking. Today I notice lonely people. I sympathize with the person sitting alone in the restaurant and often offer to sit with them. My heart breaks for the child sitting alone in the hospital. God shows me people who are lonely and puts people on my heart. When I listen to God’s promptings and I take action and send a text of encouragement or send a card, make a meal or call to visit I am (but shouldn’t be by now) always surprised to hear the same thing “How did you know?”. God is amazing like that. He’s fully aware of our loneliness and sends his people to intervene. If we listen.
When I look around the world and listen to the news I think we may not be hearing God’s promptings very well or we are just too busy to act on those nudgings. Children are getting in over their heads in online relationships. Teenagers are committing suicide at increasing rates. Adults are feeling alone and depressed at epidemic proportions. The elderly, those stuck in hospitals, teenagers, stay at home moms, single parents, prison inmates, and mentally ill are all struggling with the same debilitating issue…..loneliness. How can it be that in a world of billions of people everyone is suffering from loneliness?
There is a cure.
The cure is relationship.
There are three people who can cure it.
You, Me & Jesus!
You are the first person who can work to end your loneliness. Did you know that there are thousands of other people with the same feelings as you right in your own community? Did you know there are hundreds of seniors with no one who will sit with them for an hour and chat? There are so many people who are not able to leave their hospital bed today. If you want to work on your own sense of feeling alone you must put yourself in relationships. All those other lonely hearts in your community need you to go to them. They need you to sit with them, bake for them, play a game with them, call them or send them a card. And do you know what happens when you do? You are no longer alone! Your loneliness subsides. You have purpose. You have a sense of helping someone and a smile creeps onto your face. Even if you are one of the ones stuck in hospital, home or wheelchair, you can still reach out to others and build relationships.
Me. Okay not just me; everyone. It’s up to us to make sure you are supported if you’re feeling lonely and alone. We can’t help you unless you let us know. That’s hard to do and again it’s on you! People are busy but they certainly can’t make time if they don’t know your situation. Invite people into your world, tell people about your situation, let others help and be a friend. Then it’s up to us to take action and be a friend. If each of us consciously took time to care about another person outside our family, the world would be a less lonely place. Is there anyone you know who is lonely? Is there anyone in your community who you can brighten their day? Lonely people are everywhere. What can you do each day, week or month to build relationship with someone who needs to smile and feel connected today?
The connection we need the most is with our Creator. God created us to need relationship. So many people today don’t realize that God is waiting to hear from them. He wants us to communicate and to want relationship with Him. One of my favourite verses as a foster Momma is Psalm 27:10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” So many people feel alone starting right from birth. They are born to people who really can’t give them what they need emotionally and sometimes physically. God loves those children especially and often sends people to love on them. What He really wants those children to know is that He is the one who will always be there for them. He is the reliable, faithful and can be trusted with every thought, cry and prayer. Read your Bible (if you don’t have one you can google verses on love, peace, loneliness, joy and comfort). Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” So next time you’re feeling alone read that verse and look up all the many verses where God speaks truth and love to you. Remind yourself that you are never alone. God is always there to listen and when you think about it you’ll be amazed at how He sends people to show you that you are loved.
As we near Christmas, loneliness reaches the boiling point for many. People who have crappy families, are away from family or just don’t have any family at all can feel an extra measure of loneliness. If that describes you, remember to tell someone or a few someones and actively fight against your loneliness by helping someone else end their lonely streak and you will in turn end yours as well.
I hope you find ways to end your loneliness today.