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Loneliness

The Issue

imageIt wasn't intended for people to be lonely or to be alone. We were made to live, love and share our lives together with others. But just having a lot of people living around you doesn't necessarily relieve loneliness, because loneliness comes from being isolated. Loneliness, sad to say, is often self-inflicted. People build walls around themselves and then complain of their loneliness. They build walls instead of bridges!

How do we "cure" loneliness? The solution is simply summed up in this little proverb: "To love others makes us happy; to love ourselves makes us lonely." So there’s the key, the simple solution to loneliness!—If you give love you’ll get love!—All the best things in life are shared! Love isn’t put in your heart to stay! Love isn't love till you give it away!

Be a Friend

imageThere is someone near you who is lonely. And if you reach out to them, you may be their link to life. You may, just by offering a smile and some conversation and a bright spot in their day, be giving them a reason to live. Don’t hold back just because you think people won't like it or might feel they don’t need it. They do. And often they will be eternally grateful.

As I was walking home from high school one Friday afternoon, a new kid from my freshman class was half a block ahead of me. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. Only a real nerd would bring all his books home for the weekend, I thought. I had quite a weekend planned myself—parties and a football game with my friends.

A minute later, a few other boys ran at Kyle, knocked his books out of his arms, and tripped him. Kyle tumbled to the ground. His glasses went flying and landed in the grass a short distance from him. As Kyle picked himself up, he looked my way. Even from half a block away, I could see that he was angry, frustrated, and humiliated.

My heart went out to him, so I jogged up to him. By this time he was down on his hands and knees, looking for his glasses. He tried to hide the tears in his eyes, and I tried to act like I hadn't noticed. I handed him his glasses and said, "Those guys are jerks! They really should get a life!"

Kyle looked at me and said, "Hey, thanks!" He broke out into a big smile—one of those smiles that show real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me. I asked him why I hadn’t ever seen him before, and he explained that he had gone to a private school till now. I would have never hung out with a private-school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.

I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends, and he said yes. We hung out all weekend, and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. My friends thought the same.

On Monday morning, there was Kyle again, on his way back to school with his huge stack of books. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you're going to build some serious muscles with that pile of books every day!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. We decided on different schools, but I knew that we would always be friends. The miles between us would never be a problem. Kyle was going to be a doctor, and I was going to study business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

On graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more friends than I had, and all the girls loved him. Sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those times.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"

He looked at me with one of those smiles—the really grateful ones. "Thanks," he said.

When the time came, he stepped up to the podium and cleared his throat. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your brothers and sisters, maybe a coach ... but mostly your friends. I am here to tell you that true friendship is the best gift you can give anyone. I am going to tell you a true story."

Then I watched Kyle with disbelief as he told the story of the day we met. He told how he had planned to kill himself over the weekend, and had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn't have to do it later. That was why he had carried all his stuff home that Friday afternoon. Kyle looked straight at me and gave me a smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

A gasp went through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. His mom and dad looked over at me with that same grateful smile. Not until that moment had I realized its depth.

Think About It…

What the Bible Says...

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4, NIV)

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