‘God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. ‘

Psalms 68:6

I don’t know how you feel about eating alone. Even if you enjoy it occasionally, I suspect you would find yourself lonely as a common occurrence. There is something about being at a table alone that emphasizes loneliness.

Being a part of the church is more than a place to go on Sunday. God’s church family is meant to be a family for those who are alone. That means it provides full tables for the lonely and family for the single. That sounds like a beautiful potential, but it’s more than that.

Have you ever felt lonely even when you rarely eat alone? Perhaps you are around people all the time, and still, you feel alone. Even if you live with others, you can feel this way because proximity is not a guarantee of relationship. There may be more relational fullness when diversity is involved. What do I mean? If all your family and friends are similar, you may miss out on the fullness of God’s plan for you. Most of us naturally gravitate to people who are like us. Spending time with those in the same racial, socioeconomic, political, and occupational circles seems easier.

That is not the vision that God has for his church. Could it be that God’s plan isn’t JUST a plan to care for the outsider and the lonely? Could it be that God designed relationships to be more fulfilling when they are with a cross-section of all peoples? Learning to do that may be challenging, but it is also more rewarding. Maybe there is an aloneness that we feel when we are at a table with only people like us? Find someone who looks and thinks differently than you. Find a way to spend some time with them this week. Ask them about their life; it may help you feel less alone.