Do you ever feel lonely in a crowd?

"So Lonely" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“So Lonely” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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The church, like all other social groups, claims to offer fellowship. Some people enjoy this. But many don’t. What makes for a genuine relationship is the freedom to be yourself with others who have the freedom to be themselves.

Unfortunately, this kind of relationship is rare. Few people find it and enjoy it.

Even though my community is online, The Lasting Supper, some people get together face-to-face when they can. I’ve made real and lasting friends there, and others have too. It’s awesome. Please consider joining us. You’d be welcomed at our table. And hopefully you feel the freedom to be yourself.

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5 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    Wow David – that is powerful.

    Just a day or two ago I was walking in the park when my dog was making new friends with ah lady sat on the park bench. (Dogs I tend to find have a 6th sense about people). Anyway God came up in the conversation form her and I asked if she had a faith and she mentioned yes. It turned out she had bowel cancer and had the day before received good news about the cancer. However she had taken the news badly because she had been getting her house in order, being ready to pass it on to the next person.

    As I sat and listened, her story came out about her parents dying when she was a young child and being sent to boarding school where she was sexually abused by girls there. When married her husband called her “frigid”, and she showed me the scars she had from self – harming. Any words I would have tried to say to comfort or to try and advise would have been crass. she thnked me so much for spending time with her and what I mentioned was that all people need soetimes is not to feel alone.

    I know what it is like to be thankful to someone and for them to say I think I was giving them too much credit and that ll people need sometimes is to be shown where they have talent and for someone to believe in them. She was right.

    These things can be life changing. I wonder how it was that we got to church or any social gathering being about sitting in lines facing forward listening passively to a performance from the front.

    As I am led to believe, traditional Jewish teaching happened with much more interaction and teachers frequently being interrupted, perhaps more like a post – grad seminar than an undergrad lecture. I felt more involved and learned more in my masters that way than with my honours.

    Have we become so individualistic and “independent” in our cultures that we have a poverty of community, connection and belonging?

  2. Becky says:

    Crowds are much more lonely than being alone. The loneliest time of the week is the half hour between Sunday School and Worship. All those people and no one to talk to….

  3. Caryn LeMur says:

    Ducati: I offer that many people believe that a church crowd will somehow, someway, create a community.

    But, as your experience demonstrated, it is simple honest speaking plus someone caring enough to simply listen, listen, and listen.

    In my mind, it is not our individualism nor independence that has created the poverty of community. Rather, it is that honest speaking is punished or too quickly answered. And thus, we learn to sit quietly, rather than to risk further damage.

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    David: Such a true cartoon! I remember this feeling so deeply! I am so glad for the online TLS community. In the midst of so many posts, we find someone that will listen, and respond graciously.

  5. Ducatihero says:

    I hear you Caryn with your view about honesty being punished or too quickly answered. So it being a risk to be so. It would have been cruel for me to have been that way with the lady I shared about instead of honouring her story.

    I guess all we can do is take that risk to be honest an to listen to others being likewise knowing that there is vulnerability in doing either which can result in pain if it is not honoured. However that being the chance we take if we want to connect and not feel alone. It’s lovely to feel understood and to see what it is like for someone for them to feel likewise 🙂

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