A few weeks ago in the middle of discussing a completely different topic with the youth group we somehow ended up getting sidetracked onto the topic of feeling lonely. We’re not talking necessarily about being lonely because of being single, though it’s not excluded. This is the peculiar type of alone we feel even in a crowd. Sometimes it’s even more pronounced in a crowd. It’s not something I had planned on doing a series on, but as I listened to what they had to say, watched the heads nod, and saw the pain in a few sets of eyes I realized this is something that needs to be addressed. We have spent several meetings now talking about this, and I intend to open the doors here for discussion and thought.
The first place we looked was at Psalm 22, which gives some insight into two of the people in the Bible who I feel must have felt the most alone at times. David spend great amounts of time on the run, possibly without another human to share his pain with. Jesus had no peer on the same level spiritually; I can’t imagine how alone He must have felt sometimes. Yes, I know that Christians have probably told you before something along the lines of, “you shouldn’t feel lonely” or “God is always there.” Maybe the first one is true; the second one is. Those words didn’t make you feel much better though did they? Even though we know He’s there, we need humans too. God didn’t design us to only have deep relationships with Him. Look in the New Testament at how the Church fellowshipped and was instructed to do so by the apostles.
I know it probably happened, but I have a hard time imagining those in the Acts-type Church feeling so alone. Look at how they were unified. The times in my life when I have felt and still do feel like I am on lonely island are when I have no one I feel I can share my deepest hurts with, my ugliness with, or even when i have someone who I can tell anything to but responds poorly. I told the group that the first time I can remember no longer feeling alone was when I was part of a weekly meeting small group with Jesus followers I could tell anything to. ANYTHING. I was loved regardless of what I have recently done. I wasn’t preached to (not saying anything was swept under the rug). I wasn’t advised for 30 minutes. They didn’t act shocked that I committed sin. They weren’t too busy. I was never mocked. No jokes were made at my expense.
I want to make sure and save some for a few more posts, but I’d love to hear from you. Do you feel this way? Why? What is missing that makes you feel alone, even in a crowd? Did you find a friend/group that stopped it? How?
I find this whole thing heartbreaking. The Church was meant to be more for each other than this.