We have been hearing a lot in the news lately about the epidemic of obesity. I believe there’s another epidemic even more pervasive though not as easily seen. It is an often hidden condition called loneliness. Loneliness is a paradox in our modern society. We are living in a time when there are more people on the earth than ever before. Forms of communication exist which were not dreamed of a century ago. You would think all that would make us closer and yet people frequently feel more isolated.
The idea of several generations of family members living together has largely gone by the wayside. Multitudes of people live alone, eat alone and shop alone. Yet probably the worst kind of loneliness occurs in the midst of a company of people.
If you feel lonely you are not the exception. Many others share those deep feelings of aching for connection and value with another human being. Jesus Christ himself felt deeper loneliness than any one of us ever has. Just as he was getting ready to go through his hardest times, all his friends deserted him. One of his closest friends, Peter, denied he had ever known him. Jesus understands and cares about loneliness.
Who might be lonely around you? Maybe you have wished that someone would notice your loneliness and connect with you. Instead, why don’t you try to reach out first? You can bring a sense of caring connection to each person you meet who might feel friendless.
A simple smile in the checkout or eye contact with a warm “thank you” or a brief phone call just to say hello can mean the world. No, it will not solve their complete problem or yours either for that matter. Let’s try, though, to slow this epidemic from spreading any further.
Try the audio version: