Thank you for remembering Ivy’s birthday, we completely forgot and didn’t bake a cake. 😉 — text from Meg and I to one of the Chandler’s youth.
After yard work at a church member’s house Ivy went with a group to La Fuente. While Ivy was in the bathroom the group told the waiter it was her birthday. So all the workers came out singing. They put the birthday hat on Ivy, a whipped cream pie to the face, and gave her a bowl of ice cream.
Ivy was confused – it wasn’t her birthday – then excited. Hey joy went beyond free ice cream – she felt like she was a part of the group. (Check out the video at the bottom)
I recalled this story as I read about loneliness in USAToday (see graphic). We live in a lonely nation. Surprisingly loneliness increases with younger generations. Or maybe it is not surprising — screen time doesn’t fill our need for relationship.
But staring at the numbers… is depressing. Only 18% “Have people they can talk to”…
All this made me think… we should stop what we are doing. Take someone out. Pretend it is their birthday. Get a free dessert (or pay for a dessert, if integrity demands it). Laugh about taco hats. Listen to their concerns. Love.
Jesus came as a person. He lived and walked among the people. Much of his teaching happened during intimate dinners. The sacrament he created is a meal.
Our tendency is to down size everything Jesus did to wafers and shots. But to be like Jesus, is to be relational. To build friendships. To follow him means our hands move to erase these numbers.
The Word by RS Thomas
A Pen appeared, and the god said:
‘Write what it is to be
man.’ And my hand hovered
long over the bare page,
until there, like footprints
of the lost traveler, letters
took shape on the pages’s
blankness, and I spelled out
the word ‘lonely’. And my hand moved
to erase it; but the voices
of all those waiting at life’s
window cried out loud: ‘It is true.’