The Opposite of Loneliness

I’ve borrowed the title of today’s post from Marina Keegan’s blog. Yesterday I wrote about her final column in the Yale Daily News.  (If you missed it, please read it before you read another word here.  https://thepreachersword.com/2012/06/26/the-best-years-of-our-lives )

I can’t get it out of my mind.  Not just because of the cruel irony of her column.  Or her engaging writing style.  Or the sadness I feel for her family and friends.  I think the content is striking.  Insightful.  Penetrating.  Keegan wrote, “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” 

Marina mused about her college experiences. Her relationships.  Her memories.  Her hopes, dreams, and fears regarding the future.  Her tone was optimistic.  Yet, the thing she said that scared her most. “More than finding the right job or city of spouse–“I’m scared of losing this web we’re in.  This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness.” 

I think most of us who enjoyed a positive college experience can relate to Marina Keegan’s feelings.  For nine years I ministered in a college town and enjoyed wonderful association with students who worshiped where I preached.  At the end of every school year there was the kind of feeling that Keegan so clearly articulated in her blog. 

But all of this is causing me to think of another community.  A deeper relationship.  A unique fellowship.  The one that Christians share together in the Lord.  We are called the Family of God.  We have a companionship bonded by the blood of Jesus. 

We enjoy a kinship that transcends common and carnal relationships.  We’re not knit together because we attended the same university. Or belong to the same club. Or espouse the same politics.  Or share the shame racial or ethic background.  No!  In fact, quite the opposite! 

The Bible says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26-27). 

We share a commonality of faith.  Of hope.  Of love.  All based on Jesus.  All founded on eternal aspirations.  All seeking a higher aim.  Deeper motives.  A greater goal than can be obtained through worldly, physical, or material  means. 

Now, here is my real purpose in writing today.  And why Keegan’s blog touched me on another level.  If there is any place where the opposite of loneliness ought to be experienced, it should be among Christians!  If it is only found in a fraternity or society.  Or a university. Or a Rotary club.  Shame on us! 

One writer said, “We are not just called to believe.  But to belong.”  Belong indeed!  To belong to Jesus.  To belong to one another.  To belong to a called and consecrated spiritual Family that really cares.  That really feels their sister’s sigh. That really understands their brother’s hurt.  That really realizes another’s longings.  That really bears each other’s burdens.  And that really rejoices in one another’s successes.  

When we have achieved that level of intimacy and that feeling of connectedness in the local church family, we will have experienced the opposite of loneliness.  Then together we can do great things.  And I think bring a smile to God’s face. 

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

3 Comments

Filed under Fellowship

3 responses to “The Opposite of Loneliness

  1. Judy Bertram

    …and think of all the things the church family can get done for the Lord when we have this attitude. Powerful message!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Great Verses of the Bible: Deuteronomy 31:6 | ThePreachersWord

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