Summary: This message concentrates on what happens when you are lonely and provides you with some practical steps in overcoming loneliness
What’s Wrong With Me?
The Question of Alienation
Dr. Marty Baker
Stevens Creek Community Church
A wave of despair is silently crashing over America. Floodlights pierce the night, announcing yet another home-video store. Supermarkets peddle single-serving foods and delivery services let you order your life to go - and hold the interaction please. The 900 numbers, some of which charge callers $25 to hear a soft voice, are proliferating, along with single parents, divorces, suicides, murders and drugs.
In the 1970s, the silent majority was conservative and hawkish. In the 1990s, the silent majority is lonely. Americans talk openly about AIDS but not of loneliness. Doctors say loneliness brings on other diseases and even can be fatal. The Gallup Poll says loneliness affects more than a third of the population,and psychologist say that figure is rising. Census figures indicate that the number of Americans living alone has tripled since 1960. But figures can be misleading. A person can be alone but not feel lonely or be in a crowd and feel like the last person on earth.
The experts on loneliness are not psychologist, census officials or poll analysts. They are people across America who are living with loneliness. From a crowded night club on Gordon Highway, to a neighborhood bar and grill on Washington Road; from a health club on Broad Street to a crowded mall on Wrightsboro Road; from a third shift job on an assembly line to a computer terminal in the Atrium; from a run down project in the inner city, to the well-manacured lawn in West Lake, Augusta can be a very lonely place. The migration of our city with Fort Gordon, the medical college, and SRS adds to the dilemma for it produces lonely people without roots.
Listen to our music and hear the lonely voices crying out:
Carole King: Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you got to do is call, and I’ll be there.
Paul McCartney: All the lonely people, Where do they all come from? All the lonely people, Where do they belong?
Elvis Presley: Just take a little walk down lonely street to heartbreak hotel.
James Taylor: Do me wrong, Do me right. Tell me lies but hold me tight. Save your good-byes for the morning light. But don’t let me be lonely tonight.
Bonnie Rait: What can I do to get back to you. I’m feeling desperate and lonely.
What happens when you are lonely? You can cry like a rainstorm when you are lonely. Or you can be as dry and quiet as a desert. Men are like that. There are as many kinds of loneliness as there are color in a desert sunset.
Here are a few:
Spouses and lovers leave.
Spouses and lovers don’t leave. They get stuck in a cycle of fear and unhappiness.
A homeless person who hasn’t had a break in years wishes someone would care.
A soldier comes home from Vietnam and 20 years later suddenly wells up with paralyzing friend over his buddies, who died like slaughtered lambs.
A suburban mother who seems to have everything - nice house, nice kids, husband with a good job - cries and feels as if there is no one to talk to.