I See You!
Loneliness is at an all time high and civility is at an all time low. Civility, as defined by Webster Dictionary, is formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. We do not have to look very far to see that the world-at-large is lacking in civility. Somehow since the COVID pandemic we have become a self -centered people and yet through it all, I have seen some wonderful acts of love and service.
But under the same conditions, we see loneliness soaring in various circumstances. On one hand we had to shut ourselves in and reinvent our communications skills with each other. Even with so many connections, loneliness continues to rise. This loneliness is not the same as depression. This is a serious matter as well but today I just want to focus on loneliness. Google defines loneliness as the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation. The question I pose to this, what about the group of us that can feel lonely even when we are among community? It happens sooner or later to each of us.
I believe that inside each of us, we yearn for humanness, each other, a touch, a hug, a smile, we want to be seen by someone who looks you in the eye and say; I see you! And I don’t know about you but wearing masks has dulled my view of others. I passed a friend and didn’t recognize her; she recognized me because of something I was wearing. My friend had on a hat, Sunglasses, and a mask, she could have been any super hero on the street and I would have still missed her. As we stood blocking an aisle in the grocery store because of social distancing, I had to keep asking her to repeat something she said because the muffling of the masks. We finally said our goodbyes. No hugs, smiles, or invites to stop by or meet up. And nor did we make a commitment to call because …COVID, stay away, social distance….
A year passes, when I had the opportunity to engage with the sister of my friend. She advised that my friend was not handling the pandemic well. She stayed home, ate, watched tv, worked, attended online church services and stared at her phone but did not talk on it. With so many connections and communication avenues, turns out my friend was lonely for her tribe. So I called her as soon as I got home. Of course she thought someone had died because she knows I have an aversion to talking on the phone and would never call to just say hello. But the Holy Spirit was moving and lead me to make that call. We talked and laughed for a long time. I even had to charge my phone while talking. Now, if you are my girlfriend you will know that I March to the beat of my own drum and can be rather sporadic and not very traditional but not wild and crazy either (well that description made no sense but that’s what I am sticking with). I came up with the idea to meet in the parking lot of a nearby strip mall. We parked our cars side by side but facing the opposite directions; rolled the windows down and talked for TWO hours. It was cold out but I had a blanket and snacks that I gladly shared. We laughed so hard that we had to stop our two hour chat only because we had to potty.
I am a strong introvert but even introverts can suffer from loneliness. We need each other. Some of us need more than others but I realize that even in my introverted, HSP world, I need others (occasionally) and others need me. We all need our tribe, we need someone to truly see us, we need someone to love us and we need Jesus. When we fail each other, and yes we will because we are not perfect people, we will need a friend who stands by us even in times of loneliness. We can still suffer loneliness but Jesus will help you through the lonely times. He will not desert us or leave us.
I encourage you to turn to Jesus and ask him to help you build or become a part of your tribe or community where you are with likeminded or mutual people. Yet I implore you to not totally run from loneliness all the time. In some of that aloneness let it drive you to spend time with The Savior to enrich your relationships and draw closer to him.
Reach out and touch someone today. Be intentional, be compassionate, be loving, be kind, be gentle.
I love you❤️