Chaplain: Cheer Up the Lonely
By Allen Teal, Chaplain
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18, NIV).
July 11 is National Cheer Up the Lonely Day. Not many will celebrate or even know about it. Most of us know a person or two who faces lonely times. Unfortunately, we can fail to notice when people around us need to see a familiar face or talk to an old friend. Perhaps we could take this opportunity to encourage someone who deals with loneliness.
Neglect can accompany loneliness.
Often, lonely people do not take proper care of themselves. They can also face the problem that no one else regularly checks on their well-being. God understood this when he created humanity. His decision to make two genders came from his knowledge that, “it is not good for the man to be alone.” It can be easy to say to someone that he or she should get out more or be a part of a group. Lonely people can struggle to do this and require someone to help them not to be alone.
Sadness is a frequent companion of the lonely.
Loneliness leads to feelings that no one cares. Even the knowledge that God cares may not be enough to lift someone from the darkness solitude may bring. This sadness can create a vicious cycle of feeling down, resulting in unwillingness to associate with others. Avoiding others creates a fresh cycle of loneliness.
We have the capacity to make a difference.
A letter, phone call or a brief visit can make a world of difference in the life of the lonely. On Cheer Up the Lonely Day, we may want to take some time to initiate contact with someone facing loneliness. A well-timed card with a personal note can give a lonely person a major lift. Invite someone to dine with you or your family. You might consider taking an hour and calling three or four people who live far from friends or family or have become elderly or ill and can no longer easily attend social gatherings. Make July 11, 2021, your personal day to spread cheer as far and wide as possible.