As I write this, I am outside waiting for the stars to appear for a glimpse of God’s heavenly beauty. I am alone this weekend. My wife has gone to take care of her aging mother; something we are all called to do to honor those who have cared for us and traveled this road paving the way. Honestly, sometimes I like it when I’m alone with my thoughts but tonight it is not my friend. I try to make myself busy by doing chores around the house but it seems when night time falls, it is the hardest. I cannot even imagine how someone who has lost a spouse, loved one or friend can survive the loneliness that is so prevalent in the house. Although my daughters are good to check on me, it is not the same as having that one person to share life.
So I’m taking this time to reflect on what God is telling me about my world. What do other people experience while I’m plugging away at my desk? Am I so blind that I don’t see the suffering that goes on with our aging community or those who lose their spouse or friends. The loneliness that occurs without anyone noticing what is going on? What is my responsibility in all of this? If we say we are followers of Christ, would it not make sense to help the broken hearted, feed the poor, and uplift the lonely? Yes, but how?
We can all do our part in this world to help those in need if we only take the time to see those who are hurting. Anyone who knows me know that I love to look at the different eyes God has given humans. They are fascinating but you must take time to gaze into them for there you will find the answer to how we find those who are hurting. All we need to do is look.
But taking that time to make a difference appears to be the challenge. For me, carving out time takes away from other things that I feel I need to be doing or want to be doing. But I wonder, are all those things that keep us busy really all that important at the end of the day? Perhaps I need to make some changes. Maybe instead of watching that television show I need to visit my neighbors, or create a conversation with a stranger. Then at least I could be contributing to the solution instead of propelling the problem. I would even be less lonely, if I did my part. If I allowed Jesus to work through me in small things instead of being distracted by things I feel are urgent. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus is beginning his ministry and proclaims to the people his calling on this earth.
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Jesus made it clear that his existence was to being hope and restore those who are hurting. Since we are in Jesus, and Jesus is in us, aren’t we also called to this task. Why are we not doing more to combat this loneliness in the world? What can I do to help? What can you do? All it takes is one small gesture to help bring a smile to someone’s day. Maybe we need to forget about ourselves and be the solution to loneliness in our own communities.