Ever feel like you have tons of “friends” on social media, but little deep relational connection?
Ever been at a party, but feel alone?
Are you concerned that your kids are good at texting, but aren’t equipped for many relational situations and face-to-face conversations?
“Relational poverty”, or loneliness is a growing phenomena. I loved listening to a message on Loving the Lonely and thought I’d share a few notes…
Relational poverty = lacking the intimacy and connections to live a meaningful life. You can be with a lot of people and yet feel very alone. There are people around you, but you don’t feel like they care, or that you can open up to them.
Why is relational poverty a growing issue, especially in the west?
- Breakdown of families
- Increased mobility – people don’t stay in one place long.
- Heavy workload – too busy.
- The rise of social media. We get a glimpse into someone’s life, but not true connection.
Sooo….How did Jesus love the lonely or isolated?
- With touch. Matthew 8:1-4
Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.”
Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone.
2. By listening. Ex.: In Luke 24, on the road to Emmaus Jesus asks questions and listens.
v. 17 He asks, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”
v. 19 He says, “What has happened?”
We can ask others:
- Tell me your story?
- How are you doing – REALLY?
- How can I pray for you?
3. With time. Jesus was busy, but always interruptible.
I’m convicted that even when I’m not technically rushing, I can give off a vibe with my body language that I’m too busy to be present and take time to truly listen and care.
Which of these three can you get better at giving? How do we need these in our neighborhoods?
- Bake something and take it to a neighbor you don’t know yet. Here’s what I tried.
Here’s a recipe you can make and take to neighbors from my sister-in-law Jane.
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Mix 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar
Add 2 eggs,
1/2 ts. salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 ts. baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
1 3/4 cups flour
This makes 2 8×4″ loaves or 3 mini loaves
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Reduce to 300 and bake about 50 minutes more (less for mini loaves)
Confession: Most of the time I totally ignore the temp change and just do it for less time.
- Learn your neighbors’ names. Reach out to everyone living within two houses or apartments on every side of you. Make sure you know their name and contact information. Create a “map” to give to those in your neighborhood to help you better connect.
(YIKES! I am an extrovert! I “do people”! But still, when I did this I was NERVOUS! So, if that’s you, know that you’re not alone! You can do this! Everyone was super nice and grateful I was doing this)