Friday, July 3, 2015

ever feel lonely? like really lonely?

maybe, like me, you fall asleep alone every night and wake up in an equally empty bed every morning. or maybe you, like so many others, might as well sleep alone because that's how you feel laying beside your spouse each night any ways.

maybe you're the kid in your class who unwillingly eats lunch alone, or the only one in your office who doesn't get invited to the pool party after work.

or maybe, just maybe, your calendar is jam packed with events and coffee dates, but you can't seem to make a deep connection no matter how hard you try.

we've all been there. at least most of us have. and it sucks. loneliness sucks.

but can we just take a minute and think about the guy you pass on the street every day? the one with the sign that says "anything will help", or the empty cup that sits at his feet each day?

i've been feeling deeply lonely lately myself, and yet there have been moments where i have found myself thanking God that i understand what that feels like because, get this, experience develops understanding, which in turn produces compassion, and compassion, if channelled properly, will move you to action. in other words, our experience equips us to help others.

i was on a streetcar in between st. francis table and nathan phillips square yesterday when my streetcar stood at a standstill for a while due to traffic. immediately, i looked out the window and my eyes were drawn to a young, full-bearded man sitting on the sidewalk. i watched this man, for what seemed like a good five minutes, try and get someone's - anyone's - attention. he said hi, attempted to make eye contact, and even went as far as opening the door for several of them by pushing on the automatic door opener behind his head. from what i could see, not one even one person looked at him. not one. and with each passing person, his disposition changed; it was as if i was able to feel his frustration and recognize the sense of loneliness he felt just by the look on his face as another human being, and another, passed him by. honestly, i wish i had gotten off of that street car and sat with him. i could tell he needed it; heck, i needed it.

truth be told, i wouldn't have the heart that i do for the poor if i couldn't relate to them in some way, and since i don't have a stinkin clue what it feels like to sit on a cold, lonely pavement all day, or wonder where my next meal is going to come from, let alone where i'm going to sleep, i do understand what it feels like to wrestle with a deep sense of loneliness at times. most of us do.

my challenge to you us today? send a text. tell a friend you love them. give someone a hug. say hi to a stranger. smile. make eye contact, whatever. if those of us who understand loneliness won't make this world a less lonely place for someone else, who will?

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