Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Loneliness Part III: Together We're Awesome

Are You Lonely? Do you know someone who is lonely? There is help and whatever it takes to overcome the loneliness; it's worth it. We are created to be in fellowship with one another. That's the blueprint and any deviation from the main plan will not be best.

Yesterday we explored "What if?" you started something that would draw people together for fellowship. Today I challenge you with:

  1. Do you know other believers well enough to know when they are hurting or lonely?
  2. Do you respond when God shows you that another believer is hurting or lonely?
  3. Do you frequently give (of your time, money, energy) even when there is nothing for you to gain in return?]
    This is quoted from another Christian blogger concerned with loneliness in our churches, Alan Knox

I love blogging dialogue. This morning I received an email with this comment posted on yesterday's blog: Hi Kay!
I'm on my way out the door to work when I came upon this series.
I'll be back later when I have more time to read and digest because I REALLY think you're talking to me!!
I get lonely sometimes, but WHAT IF I reached out to others that are lonely, too? Then, in spiritual fellowship, we could share our feelings and establish new relationships.
Knitter--that's me--you've spoken to me this morning!!
I'll be back later!!

I remember an old book by Tozer, Rut, Rot or Revival. Way back in the late eighties I found this book and I loved the title, but my pastor thought it was severe. Soon after that our church had a big conflict and he was allowed to resign and the church has never gotten back to any true strength. He never pastored again. Today I would add one more "R" word: Revolution.

God is stirring up His people. Seems our pastor is stirring up a "what if" revival/revolution within each of us and God is releasing it through us. So thank you, Sailor Cross, I needed your comment to fuel me in facing and doing all that I can for the lonely I encounter. God, thank You for this blog world.

Back to the lonely............

  • Folks with physical disabilities have confessed that greater than their physical pain has been the pain of isolation and loneliness.
  • Older parents share the intense pain of loneliness in rarely seeing their adult children.
  • Some people from minority groups who have been excluded from social activities feel very lonely.

    In a nearby SC community with many international companies a primary secular mission is commissioned to help the lonely isolated spouses of the executives working here. I cannot imagine being away from my homeland and family, uneasy with the language and no one in my neighborhood ever rings my doorbell to welcome me.

It just seems logical that as followers of our Savior, we should be reaching out to the lonely all around us. Not only will we reach out to them with the time we have, but we will point them to God. Only God can meet the needs of the lonely. And here is the good news. In Jesus He has revealed Himself as "Immanuel," which means, "God with us."

Dr. Dean Ornish is concerned that loneliness may be the greatest threat to our society.

He has seen in his research that people who are lonely, depressed, and isolated are three to five times more likely to develop serious illness or to die prematurely. He concluded:"

I’m not aware of any factor in medicine – not diet, not

smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not

drugs, not surgery – that has greater impact on our

quality of life, incidence of illness and premature death

than the healing power of love and intimacy. Yet the

need for love and intimacy often goes

unfulfilled." (Love & Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy.)

Let me conclude today with some good news. Here are some healthy ways to replace loneliness:

  • Pick up the phone and call a family member, friend, or an acquaintance.
  • Go to the store or an event and be friendly with people you encounter.
  • Go outside and take a walk. Let nature speak to you.
  • Get a pet to care for and cuddle with.
  • Get involved in a hobby you enjoy.
  • Talk to God about how you’re feeling and express your love to him.

Do you have any tips for the lonely? What thoughts do you have on the church addressing loneliness?


Joyfulsister said...

Hi Sweet Sistah..
Thank you for sharing your heart with me today. It feels so good to finally sit and be able to visit with my sistah's once again. I get so drained after a big ministry such as the retreat or conference. I guess because we give out so much and need to rest and be filled again with the strength of the Lord. I know the Lord taught us that when he had to go away and and be alone in the presence of his father.
Did you send me your addy??
Oh I love this post I need to go and catch up lol.

Hugz Lorie

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Oh yes, don't we all deal with lonliness. I think sometimes its good to feel that way so that we don't ever forget that there is always someone having a lonely day. Just taking a moment to reach out to someone else almost always helps me on days when I'm feeling down. Love it Kay! Good stuff!!

sailorcross said...

Hi Kay!!

I'm glad I contributed to uplifting you!! That's what I feel we are all here on this earth for--to encourage, uplift and love one another!!

Thank you for your very nice comment about my comment in your post!

About loneliness--I just have to tell you--I went through a great period of time of loneliness--most of it self-imposed because I would not divulge my problems to ANYONE and no one reached out to ME--until my friend Linda came into my life.

God truly placed her into my life just at the time when HE knew I was most vulnerable and really needed someone. SHE LED ME BACK TO CHRIST!!!!! And she continues to be my dearest friend on this earth!

Before this, I was in the "Why did God allow these things to happen" mode. He waited, waited for me--until I was at the bottom of the pit (took me from the miry clay, set my feet upon a rock, and NOW I KNOW--I love you, I need you, though my world may fall, you'll never let me go) and then He used Linda to bring me back to HIM and lift me back into his arms!!

Now, you really have me thinking--we have what is called a "Craft Cafe" at my church--one Friday evening a month. I went once and one time only. There was no ministering to others involved, and I was so disappointed.

So, here's what I'm thinking--let me know what you think--since I am a knitter and I volunteer for Domestic Violence Services (having come from that God has been calling me to do more with this)--I'm thinking that I could devote one evening a week to teach the ladies in the shelter to knit or crochet!! We could start with something small, just basic and then build our way up!! I have enough yarn stashed away for an army here--needles and such galore!!

I have been to the shelter--I know these ladies are lonely AND frightened!! They have left their homes because of this fear seeking safety from abuse.

What do you think??


Sorry for such a long comment--you just really got me going this morning and it's only 4:09 a.m.!!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.