You Are Not Alone. Ever.

Loneliness is becoming an epidemic in our culture.  

In an increasingly digitally-connected world where we have thousands of "friends" and "followers" on social media, can be reached 24/7 by cell phone, text, email or messaging and where we might appear to be happy, healthy and carefree...  millions of us are feeling isolated and alone.  

In his recent book Them: Why We Hate Each Other And How To Heal, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse cites a study from Brigham Young University involving data from 3.5 million Americans over the course of nearly four decades. 

The study revealed that lonely, isolated people are around 25 percent more likely to die prematurely from people who are not lonely or isolated.  

There is a physical toll that takes place when people experience persistent loneliness, a toll that former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy glumly remarked upon when he said, "The data is telling us... that loneliness kills."  

It doesn't have to be this way.  

There's a more excellent way to live---the kind of life that those of us who put our faith in Jesus and do our best to emulate his way of love and mercy should seek to live every single day.  

If we truly step into a life of following Jesus more fully, we will discover that are not called to be virtually connected to others and to God, but to be actually connected to the people around us, and to the Divine all around us, in us and through us.  

If you are struggling today to feel known and loved... Lift up your head and know that you are both.  And know that you are then called to know and love others in the way your God knows and loves you.  

Theologian Walter Brueggeman puts it like this:  
You need not fear that you will be forgotten or abandoned or unnoticed, because, says the deep throat of God's own voice: I have called you by name, you are mine; I love you; I am with you.  
Take heart that you are never alone and that you have a special calling to reach out to those who feel that way.  Let the chains of isolation that have held you in check be loosed at last so you may live into the freedom of being your best, truest and most well-connected self.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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