Loneliness

11 Apr

We’ve had a great evening today with a very good friend. We have covered all areas of conversation – solved the worlds problems umpteen times! Our friend, like most of us, is working through some things right now, and one conversation we had was how do you solve loneliness? It’s easy to say that getting together with people and keeping busy will prevent people from being lonely; but I think most of us can say that there have been times in our lives when we have stood in a crowded room, but felt lonely. So what is loneliness? Is it a feeling? A condition? how come we feel this way? What does the Bible say about loneliness? We read that Jesus retreated to lonely places, and no doubt he felt very lonely on the cross. In psalm 25 the psalmist asks God to be gracious to him, for he is lonely and afflicted. What do you think about loneliness? How do you cope with it? When do you feel lonely the most?


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5 Responses to “Loneliness”

  1. Paul April 12, 2007 at 08:17 #

    Ruert did some excellent posts on this recently. One thing i learnt from him was that we have a word for good loniliness – solitude – which distinguishes it from the bad form of being lonely.

    I think i’ve found that being radically honest about me and being there to help people out themselves are the best cures for loneliness, offering of myself – oh that and time. Having moved to a new area it takes a while to start making good friends, and some peeps who were friends before you find out are just if you are around and others the distance doesn’t matter. In that transition i found it a bit lonely…

  2. lynhallewell April 12, 2007 at 08:49 #

    Thanks Paul. I was curious earlier and actually found that if you type in lonelines on google, that there are many web sites dedicated to loneliness. I’ve attached the link here to Ruperts post for anyone wishing to read it. http://rupertward.blogspot.com/2007/03/different-types-of-loneliness.html

  3. Rupert Ward April 20, 2007 at 21:04 #

    hey lyn – thanks for the link. i have actually now moved blog so you can find it here

    One of the things that i have found really interesting is to recognise Jesus being lonely. He wanted some friends to stay with him as he was praying, and they didn’t. He was alone. There was no-body who understood or would be with him. what an amazing thought! He truly does know our human condition so well.

    I was trying to suggest in our that post and a previous one that loneliness maybe isn’t as bad as we often think it is. In one sense it is us longing for something more, something beyond our life now. We are aliens and strangers, made for a different land.

  4. Matthew Dowd April 23, 2007 at 06:22 #

    Many ex-‘pastors’ like myself feel lonely and isolated from mainstream Christendom because of our desire to do mission not ‘church’. We now find it difficult to commit to churches because we have been burnt by churches and now struggle to trust Christians. We have even run in to ego driven and competative ’emerging church’ practitioners. Will I ever trust Christians again? Having spent 6 years at ‘Bible College’ I now feel I can’t work in the church with my qualifications. As a 34 year old I am asking a question while my wife works and pays the bills: ‘Do I re-train for a ‘normal’ job’? I still feel called to serve God’s people and equip them to be more effective in mission, out-side the church walls. Yet, our previous church didn’t want to employ someone who would equip others to do mission and build community outside it’s church walls because this didn’t add members to the pew sitting, tithe giving, building appeal raising, programe and purpose centred congregation. So I don’t belong. My wife and I have stopped attending ‘church’. We feel isolated from Christian community which brings us feelings of loneliness. Our marriage and walk with Jesus is still strong and we still share Christ to our non-Christian friends and neighbours.

  5. lynhallewell April 23, 2007 at 07:56 #

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for your comment. I very much relate to your passion to do mission and not church. My husband is a church pastor, but we are moving out of institutional church – finding money to pay the bills is not easy – no ones really looking for someone with experience as an ex-pastor. Some have made the transition though. Don’t give up faith with “emerging” styles of church – there are some good guys out there. Too many congregations are comfortable and don’t want to go beyond the walls of church. I’m sorry that you experienced what you did. Where are you based? May I direct you to a few sites which you might find great conversation and community with people who think like you –
    http://www.missionalapologetics.com
    http://www.friendofmissional.org
    http://emergentvoyageurs.blog.com
    http://blindbeggar.org
    http://www.johnsmulo.com
    http://www.jon.lifeshapedfaith.com

    God bless you and your wife on your journey – know this – you are not alone, there are many of us out there who want to see the church be all it can and should be. Feel free to stop by and chat anytime.

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