I was listening to a Talk Show on the radio the other day. An old lady phoned in and confessed that she was lonely. She lived alone and did not see anyone from one day to the next. Sometimes she went out of the house, took the bus (because it is free for senior citizens) and sat there all the way into town and back. The round trip lasted about an hour. She did it just to meet people on the bus. She didn't speak to them, but she said that sometimes this was the only contact she had with other human beings. She did not speak to the neighbours and no one visited her.

Sadly, she is not the only person in that situation. There are many lonely people these days. And they are not all old either. Some are quite young and even though they are at work they are still lonely. They do their jobs as best they can but when they get home they have no one.

I guess there must be lonely people in your own church. People who turn up week in week out, but no one really speaks to them.

It's ironic that in our age of mass communication with 24/7 radio, TV, Internet, cell phones and all the other communications gadgets that exist, we still have people who are lonely and uncared for.

A few days later I was listening to another radio programme.  This time a man was describing how in his youth, when you went out in the streets and you met other people as you were walking, it was customary to say "Good morning" or "Good evening" to complete strangers. He said sometimes you greeted other people three or four times before you reached your destination.

Now no one talks to each other. You can have a crowded train carriage with everyone reading a book or newspaper and no one talking.

Both these radio incidents made me feel sad about modern life. They reminded me of Christ's words when He invited all who were tired to go to Him and He will give them rest. (Matthew 11: 28). I suppose He also meant the lonely when He said those words.

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Copyright V Moubarak 2007