If we are going to contend with our loneliness, we must first admit that it is a problem, a monumental issue that we are powerless to combat. Loneliness is monumental in the way that the copper in the Statue of Liberty is monumental. The Statue is made of copper, but we never really think of the tons of metal standing there. So many aspects of our culture stand like a monument. We say, “Look at the social media, the corporations, and the name we have made for ourselves!” But so much of what we have created is made of loneliness. Until we realize that we have erections of loneliness, we cannot come to connection and communion.
When we realize that we are powerless to control our tendency toward loneliness, like so many individuals in the Bible, we cry out to the Lord.
When we become willing to make a truthful and honest inventory of the ways in which we are isolated, God then asks us to turn our direction. Jesus said, “follow me.” If we follow that means repenting or turning away from the isolating things that keep us from the love and kinship of Jesus.
Something dies. In order for our isolation and loneliness to die, the processes and patterns that created it must also die. But when something necrotic dies, it gives way for new life, for resurrection.
We crave connection, and we were made from it and for it. God’s essence is connection — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — three in one. One of the holiest ways we find connection is through communion. Sometimes this means coming to the Table in worship to receive Holy Communion, and sometimes it means recognizing the holiness of the moment when we are at a physical table with others.
Every change requires a starting point, and this is my invitation to you, as you make the journey towards deeper connection. The next time you are at a table with other people, close your eyes and say to God, “Thank you for being here. Thank you for this opportunity to communicate with other humans. Thank you for the beauty of our differences, and thank you for loving us all the same.”
It may seem like something so small, trying to fix your own loneliness in a world of lonely people, but it is not. When one member of the Body is sick, it can make the others sick. And likewise, when one member of the Body begins to be well, it offers wellness to all of the others. Be well.