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When Church is Lonely

I am sitting in a hotel lobby, in the great state of Colorado, staring at many empty tables.

The music is going and there is staff in sight, but it is obvious that I am the only one enjoying what could have been easily shared with many others.

Being only four in the morning though, I really should excuse the other visitors, as it is very likely that not everyone here has been taking the daddy night shift (a responsibility that has been mine for a few weeks now).

Still I have to admit that if only Caleb were with me, that grumpy and temperamental four month old that I love, the enormity of this place wouldn’t phase me.

Strange isn’t it?

What large buildings can do to a person who doesn’t have someone to experience it with.

And our churches, what used to be the big buildings of the world, very often have the same effect on those who find themselves present and ready to worship.


Loneliness is not what happens when we find ourselves in solitude, nor is it simply the result of an experience.

Rather loneliness is born of a realization; namely, that someone I yearn for is not part of the present landscape.

And while most people sadly do not come to God’s house expecting to find the Lord of the universe, they do expect to find someone willing to journey with them.

And that is precisely what is missing from many of the buildings we frequent on Sunday.

So when you see someone not unlike myself sitting among the many that make up your congregation;

When the conversations have begun and you notice that I am not a part of any of them;

Remember to come and say hello, because loneliness makes this place larger than it was ever meant to be;

And it will get smaller…

…the more our friendship grows.

Have a great day everyone.

in Christ, patrick

P.S. Did you see my short talk on “Loneliness?” It aired live on Sunday. You can still watch it for free here.

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