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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Practicalities of Loneliness

“Try saying the word aloud several times in a sorrowful voice: ‘Loneliness... loneliness... loneliness...’ The very word has a melancholy ring to it. It represents pain for many people.”

~Robert Bolton, People Skills, p. 5.

Loneliness describes what we’ve all felt—indeed, it could be what we’re even feeling presently. It is beyond simple ‘aloneness,’ for that could simply be chosen. ‘Loneliness’ has about it a void, apart from its own will.

Loneliness is usually present in cases of lost love or an absence of love.

Many cases of social and mental ills are attributable solely to lost and absent loves—communication, or lack thereof, being central to all this.

Stinging Loneliness

I have on my mind presently a person who’s recently lost a son. In other words, family—from simply my perception on things, which is surely different to this other person’s viewpoint—has been decimated; the dynamics forever shifted off-axis.

Lost love. Some love can never return and that, for me, is incredibly sad.

At these times it’s difficult to know when or if ever the sun will break through again; again to fill our lives with hope that was once—more or less—taken for granted.

General Loneliness

Some people wake up one morning suddenly realising they’ve been alone for years, even decades. For these, the sudden realisation can provoke either startling or freeing emotions—one presenting fear, the other presenting courage to do something.

Contributors to Loneliness

Whatever it is about loneliness, none of us really like it.

And yet, increasingly we’re growing lonelier. I wonder at times if the growing social networking programs like Facebook and Twitter etc are exacerbating this or not; drawn to the computer in preference to the more real communication of our flesh and blood family members and peers, even preferring the electronic media as a means of interaction with them.

It’s just a thought.

But, then again, if there is that tug in our souls and this rings true, surely we could retrieve the courage to make that shift we’ve possibly been long thinking about—certainly subconsciously.

What, presently, can we do to engage with others—real church, real people, real interaction, real fellowship—that will fill the void of loneliness in us?

Perhaps our electronic social networking is a safe place for us—a place where we can’t or won’t possibly become hurt, per the risks of ‘body’ fellowship.

Do we need to get out more? Perhaps this is why volunteers seem happier; it usually involves interaction with people.

These are questions all of us must inevitably ask ourselves from time to time.

Beyond the ‘Solution’

As a man I have to remind myself every now and then to stop ‘fixing’ things and merely come to a deeper understanding i.e. to allow that to occur.

Some loneliness we can never ‘fix’ and it would be false of us to even entertain it. This is why my relationship with God is so important. At least when I’m lonely—which happens often enough—I have a Saviour to help me.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.


  1. That was certainly a subject I have become very familiar with! I am convinced that the current social networking sites have created a lonliness for me. It's so very easy to compare others outsides to my insides. It's also easy for me to only see the "good" things everyone else has, not knowing whats really going on in their life...such a pondering thought, thank you Steve!


  2. I admire your honesty, Nathan, and for what it's worth I feel the same way at times.

    Blessings to you and your family!

  3. Being transparent is the best tool when ministering to others. Yes loneliness is a void as you said and many people try to fill it with everything and anything but only Christ can fill the void and place joy there. May you continue to grow strength from our Lord and Savior and may you tell your story because the more you tell it the more healing you receive and you bless others who are experiencing that same feeling of a void.


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