I saw a cartoon not long ago that caught my attention. A woman is standing in front of a desk at the Missing Persons Bureau. A police officer is sitting at the desk, pencil in hand, taking down the information the woman has obviously come in to give him. This conversation takes place:
“My husband is a missing person.”
“How long has your husband been missing?”
“Oh, about twenty years.”
“Twenty years? Why are you just now reporting it?”
“I don’t know. I guess I just got lonely.”
Unfortunately, most people do not have to wait twenty years to feel the pain of loneliness. Loneliness is, without question, one of the great problems of our time. Some people call it Public Enemy Number One. It’s really quite ironic, when you stop to think about it, because the fact is that you and I come into social contact with more people in one year than our great-grandparents did in a whole lifetime. And yet, people today are lonelier than ever before…. and the pain is excruciating. There is the loneliness of separation from those we love, loneliness of feeling unneeded, loneliness of responsibility, and spiritual loneliness that comes into our hearts when we drift away from God!
Drugs (including over consumption of alcohol), self-pity, running away, and suicide are negative and destructive responses which should be avoided like the plague. But, there are at least two constructive ways to deal with loneliness. First, get involved in a church where you will be accepted, valued, welcomed, loved, supported and encouraged. Second, remember that you are never really alone. God is always with us. That is the good news of our faith, isn’t it? “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still” (Psalm 40).
Friend of Dial Hope, when we feel the pain and stress of loneliness, we need to remember that we are not alone – God is with us! Don’t ever forget… God loves you! God loves you! God loves you!
Let us pray: Loving God of china-blue skies and dazzling sunrises, touch our hearts and make them whole. Fill them with such boundless hope that our minds will burst with gratitude, our mouths will shout with joy, our hands will clap and our feet will dance! We believe, O God, help our unbelief! Through Christ our Lord. Amen.