Monday, November 07, 2011
We Are Not Alone
Last week the health specialist on CBC radio's Metro Morning spoke about the effects of loneliness. He pointed out the obvious connection to depression and other mental health issues but went on to say that new research makes the connection to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes -- loneliness makes us sick. The studies also show that in our supposedly connected world people report having fewer confidantes than even a decade ago. Hey, anyone on Facebook knows that "friend" has become a rather demeaned term and that social media can leave us lonely in a crowd. http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/11/02/effects-of-loneliness/ I wondered if the conversation would speak about ways of addressing loneliness such as, say, being part of a loving, caring family of faith. Nope.
Not everyone who comes to church feels that they belong to be sure, but I am regularly touched by the circle of support and care provided by people of all ages. A group of our tweens talked on Sunday about the sense of safety they feel together at church. We see it regularly with our seniors. We are far from perfect but we are in the loneliness busting business.
Of course there can be comfort in sensing that Christ is our companion in life and that God is with us even in the shadows. One of our statements of faith says at the beginning and end that "we are not alone, we live in God's world."
I thought of a choral piece that affirms this and I found this video of a Mennonite group called the Emerald Chorale spontaneously singing We Are Not Alone, in a church, recorded with a cell phone I think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI7zjPuVsCU
What are your thoughts on loneliness? Has your faith and faith family helped in lonely times?