Sunday, January 24, 2016


At least 4 people are.

Of the ten friends I've spent time with in the past two weeks, four mentioned that they were struggling with loneliness. (Three of them are married.)

We need friends. All of us. God created us to be social people. To live in community. To care for others. And to be cared for.  If you're missing this? Ask God to send someone your way... He already has that someone in mind - and has been just itchin' to get you two together.

Loneliness is a theme on the internet these days, as well. A couple articles that have popped up in my twitter or Facebook feeds are definitely worth a read:

Surprisingly, (at least to me, it's unexpected) TED has a talk/article on Loneliness entitled, How to Beat Loneliness.

  • "the long-term risk that chronic loneliness poses to our health and longevity is so severe, it actually increases risk of an early death by 26%.
  • Loneliness distorts our perceptions, making us believe the people around us care much less than they actually do, and it makes us view our existing relationships more negatively, such that we see them as less meaningful and important than we would if we were not lonely.
  • Breaking free of loneliness and healing our psychological wounds is possible, but it involves a decision — a decision to override the gut instinct telling you to stay away and to play it safe by isolating yourself.
  • If you feel emotionally disconnected, make a list of five people you’ve been close to in the past. Reach out to them and suggest getting together and catching up.
Gretchen Rubin (she wrote The Happiness Project) just posted a column on beating loneliness called, Five Habits to Combat Loneliness:

  • Make a habit of nurturing others.
  • Make a habit of connecting with others (to state the obvious).
  • Make a habit of getting better sleep.
  • Make a habit of being less judgemental and critical.
  • Make a habit of asking, "what is missing from my life?"
And lastly, Donald Miller posted an article written by Andrea Lucado on being along, entitled, Why Being Alone Scares Me...

  • Friday night I had nothing to do. I waited for a text. From anyone. To do anything. None came. I waited for a call. None came.
  • I begin to wonder if I have any friends. I start to count them and then find reasons that none of them are actually my friends. I mean, if I had friends, wouldn’t I have plans on a Friday night?
  • I’m seeking acceptance from people around me in order to fill my acceptance void. And we all know what happens when we try to force people to fill our voids, right? We get let down, every single time. I’m holding others to too high a standard: “Include me always! Call me! Don’t forget about me! INVITE ME TO ALL OF YOUR PARTIES SO I CAN MEET MY QUOTA FOR THE MONTH.” 

If you can't be bothered to read the articles, but you are tired of feeling alone, then, seriously. Pray about it. God absolutely desires for you to be part of community.

Next time I go to the lake, I'll bring along my big lens so that I can capture The Four O'Clock Talk that takes place on Cultus every late afternoon in the winter. Thousands and thousands of white birds fly in from all directions to gather at the same spot on the water. I stand on the shore and watch them approach. It's quite a sight.

Everytime I see it, I smile.
I love that they have each other.
I love that at the end of the day, they all know to gather together. For heat? To share food? To chat about their adventures? To flirt? To care for each other? Who knows. Doesn't matter. They have community.

On Saturday afternoon, I left the lake for a few hours to drive into Abbotsford. Just like those birds, other people were doing the same thing; driving to a pre-arranged spot to gather. We all met at 5:30, at Northview for a church service.

And it was good.

I'm thinking God must smile when He sees His people, the ones He made and loves, gather together every Saturday night. (Or Sunday morning, as the case may be.) We were not meant to do life by ourselves.


I've been reading this book (again) and just came across this:

1 comment:

September said...

Loneliness has been a theme in my life too. I have learned to enjoy my own company and found meaningful ways to use the time. Still nice to be around others and be connecting in real ways though. I get it.