Today, you can pick up a telephone and talk to someone almost anywhere in the world within a few seconds. We have access to more information and daily news than ever before. Television's influence is to the tune of 99% of all Australian homes. Very soon you will be able to see the person you are talking to on the telephone across the road, or across the world. If an event of significance happens anywhere in the world, you and I are able to know within minutes.
Communication is multiplying at such a rapid rate that it is hard to keep pace. And yet the truth is that there are more lonely people in the midst of our society than ever before. More and more groups are crying out for help and assistance because they do not feel understood or wanted. No-one really takes the time to listen to one another any more. We listen long enough to form an opinion and make a reaction, but never really seem to get to know one another at all well. Consequently, we sit and ache to know and be known, to love and be loved. We are lonely.
Sad to identify, but loneliness is found in the church as much as in the world, and often in those you would least expect it. The promise of God's Word is that 'God sets the lonely in families' (Psalm 68:6), the ultimate family being the family of God's people. Trouble is, very few people will cry out, 'I'm lonely, ' and so it is so easy to assume "everyone is OK". The first step to overcoming loneliness is to try and overcome it for someone else. In meeting their need, our need will be reduced significantly. In seeking to meet the needs of others - in losing ourselves - we indeed find ourselves in new ways.
We are God's family. There are many who are lonely - even in the midst of us. Let us seek to reach out to one another and demonstrate the love of God.
June 14, 1992
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