Last week I received a call from a friend of ages past. We had quite a chat, catching up on each other’s lives and making plans to reconnect over lunch in the nicer weather.
Of all the words spoken by my old friend, what stood out the most was, “I’m lonely.”
This lady had spent a good part of her life raising children and welcoming grandchildren. She enjoys Sunday worship and coffee time afterwards but then goes home to an empty apartment. She reaches out to family and friends via telephone but seldom do we reach out to her.
What do to do about loneliness? Obviously the answer is to be aware of these people and make a point of remembering that they do exist and are in need of friendship and caring.
It was a reminder that there are those whose lives would benefit greatly from a telephone call, a visit, an invitation to lunch…whatever it takes to ease the pain of loneliness.
The lonely are everywhere…in our churches, families, public places, long term care facilities, hospitals…everywhere. If you are suffering from loneliness, do what my friend did, make that call and say, “I am lonely”.
Many times it’s not only the people who have left the planet we miss, but the ones we don’t see who are still here. It’s okay to hug them in our dreams but a real life hug would be so much more satisfying.
…“May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other”. Genesis 31:49
I can’t help once again sharing something that touched me from another person’s blog, so I borrowed this from Matthew Ruttan who writes “UP! Your Daily Devotional”. It is from a piece called The Clock is Ticking posted on July 12th.
- Someone to not feel alone
- Someone to laugh and mean it
- Someone to know God has a plan for their life
- Someone to serve others and help others serve others.
Let’s analyse what Matthew is saying here.
First Someone to not feel alone…..I feel very sad thinking about the loneliness some people endure on a daily basis…especially those who have just lost a loved one.
Second Someone to laugh and mean it…..laughter can be so superficial sometimes, that it is good to hear someone have a great laugh that comes from their toes and works it’s way up to the face where it can be a joy for all to see and hear.
Third Someone to know God has a plan for their life…..so many people don’t know this wonderful fact and therefore miss out on the adventure of living in anticipation of “something wonderful is going to happen”.
Fourth Someone to serve others and help others serve others…..this is a wonderful antidote for mild depression, melancholy, self pity, self-centeredness and boredom.
There is so much rich material out there that tomorrow I just might use another “something borrowed”.
Dear God, because of death, there are those who are living their lives without their partners of many years. Their most voiced lament is, “I’m lonely.” They now live alone, eat alone, sleep alone, and venture out alone. Their heartbreak is keen; their grief tear-filled. Lord, may they come to know that when they feel most alone, you are with them. May they feel your presence as surely as they once felt the presence of their loved ones. May they know that although they are lonely, they are still loved. Help us to realize our neighbour’s plight and to reach out to those who need a tender touch. Amen.