So many people are lonely! And how deep is the loneliness! It is a loneliness of soul, craving a friend, craving a community to belong to, a safe place to communicate these longings and to take the steps on a journey. Meandering in hopelessness and lack of purpose and direction makes it easier for emotions to get out of control: fear, anger, depression, anxiety. In all this desperation, spiritual needs are rising to the surface.

Often people have no language to express these needs. The traditional terms seem like quicksand pulling people back into nightmares where word symbols like “God,” “Jesus,” and “religion” acquired terrible connotations.

Emerging communities give leaders a priceless opportunity to give voice to the reality of a wise, strong, and loving Father, whose spirit dwells within. We go in search of a friend, and we can find one inside of us day and night. If we seek this spirit gift, we can find energy, power, dignity, wisdom, insight, peace, creativity, purpose, guidance, love, and friendship.

When the message of the Father is gentle and generous, seekers who think and speak differently can feel at home.

The psychology of loneliness is connected with the sociology of stressed communities. Generations of broken families have led to generations of people who feel, to some extent, like orphans. Even if parents have stayed together in a literal sense, we may have been too busy or too immature to do a reasonable job of rearing our children. The universal family is not a substitute for a human family and other forms of community. But finding our core identity in the universal family may be the secret to healing our communities. And communities whose core values are universal will bless individuals and send forth ripple effects to the rest of the planet.

Photo credit: presto44