I’ve been thinking about an old gospel song recently, “Where No One Stands Alone.” The message has always resonated with me, how even the loneliest of us is never alone in the kingdom of God. 

But what are we doing to make this a reality in our churches and communities? There are many people who are very, very alone.

Looking Around

I first began to notice this when I volunteered with CASA. Whether it was children who ended up lost in the system with no permanent family, or parents who kept ending up back in this system over and over again – I was shocked at the number of people lacking the support they needed to grow and thrive.

It’s also very true in working with refugees and asylum seekers. While there are programs in place to meet a lot of the initial needs that refugees have upon arrival, one thing that so many are looking for is friendship and community. Who can they call in an emergency, someone who is available no matter the hour? Who invites them over for holiday dinner or drops off soup when they are sick? Who celebrates with them when they get a new job or pass their citizenship test?

Looking Within

Even the most self-reliant person needs help sometimes. Something that I’ve learned over time is that there really isn’t such a thing as a self-made man. We are made for community. No matter how capable or strong we are as individuals, we ALL experience a fuller life through relationships. We ALL need a helping hand to keep going when things are hard.

When we begin to see just how common it is for people to go through life alone, it can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in a sense of helplessness. We want to do something, but we know we can’t be a support system for everyone who needs one.

But…if every person would step up to be that support system for one other person or family, just imagine how different the world would be. If we all slowed down enough to look around us and take the opportunities to lend a helping hand, to make that encouraging phone call, to share a few extra dollars, it could change so much. Imagine a world where no one in our communities has to stand alone.

make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not [merely] look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:2-4