Speaking of Life 5026 | Reaching out to the Lonely
Are you a fan of the Beatles? If so, you may remember their well-known song, Eleanor Rigby. In the chorus they sing, “…look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”
Despite the many tools we have to stay connected, younger generations in western culture have been described by mental health professionals as the loneliest generation.
Wrestling with feeling alone is an experience most of us can identify with and it brings us to ask the same nagging question posed by the Beatles – where do I belong?
Thankfully God supplies an answer in a wonderful scripture, Psalm 68 tells us that God is for us and with us:
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him – his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.
Where there is a need for relationship, we see our loving Father in heaven ready to step in and bring healing and an end to the loneliness. In the church, we are blessed to join in our ministry of inclusion. God sets the lonely in families, and we can be those families: ready to accept, love, and encourage the lonely souls God sets before us.
Lend an ear to the chatty person on the bus in desperate need for conversation, not just once or twice, but whenever you are able!
Make a point of speaking to the quiet individual often ignored in the back corner of the room – and not just about the weather – find out what they enjoy talking about!
Keep your eyes and ears open so you can see those who are feeling lonely, and you can reach out to them.
If someone seems like an outsider, then help them feel the belonging that can be found in a loving community that shares the love that God has given them.
The ways in which we can join in God’s ministry of inclusion are many, and often require us to be ready to step out of our own social bubbles, or out of our own state of loneliness so that we can truly engage with those in need of relationship and care.
Let Jesus’ love in you reach out to the lonely around you. Show them they matter. As the doors open, share God’s love with them and help them see they are included among those God loves. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up in a new relationship that God has prepared for you.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.