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Sunday: Companionship — 8 Comments

  1. I once had to go to hospital for a couple of weeks. For those that need to know, I had a blocked bowel due to a birth defect, not the sort of thing you expect when you are over 60. It took the medical team a week to find out what was wrong, 2 hours to fix the problem, and a week for me to recover from the great cut they made in my abdomen. But the point of the story was not the operation, but the companionship of Carmel. She was working at the time, but every day she would come and visit me. Often, she would just fall asleep in the chair beside my bed because she was so tired. I was not much into conversation anyway. I was pretty sick that first week and apprehensive because no one really knew what was wrong. During the second week I was pretty sore. But just having the companionship of Carmel every day was something to look forward to. She did not need to talk; just being there helped me considerably.

    Companionship is not so much about talking, but just being there. My PhD supervisor used to play for the university’s Rugby team in his student days. One of the team members had an accident in a game where he was concussed and received a brain injury. I used to go to my supervisor’s home for our research meetings because parking at the university was expensive and difficult to find. One day when I arrived at my supervisor’s house, this man was sleeping on the couch in the loungeroom. During the course of our research meeting this man woke up, we were introduced to one another and he went on his way. After he had gone my supervisor told me the story of this man. His brain injury had made him unstable and he could not hold a job down and he also found relationships difficult. His Rugby mates kept an eye on him and made sure that when he got a bit out of touch with reality, he always had a bed and was fed. It was not a matter of talking to him, just making sure he was never forgotten. That sort of support is of more value than any insurance payout. It was somewhat humbling and challenging to see the supportive companionship provided to this person by his sports teammates long after they had retired from playing sport. As my supervisor said, “You do not abandon your mates just because they lose their marbles!”

    I do see that sort of supporting companionship action in my church. When we are a companion to those who feel disenfranchised by the church we are truly reflecting the love of Jesus.

    A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Prov 17:17 TLB

    • We speak of Job’s three friends and their fourth companion and we hear many people say they were not true friends. It is very true that the three had a misunderstanding of the character of God. This is the main point of their discussion, but being misguided didn’t reduce their friendship. They sat with Job for two weeks, silently, I am sure that was a great help to Job in his time of emotional and physical distress!...Royce

    • Great post. Both stories so meaningful. We were all made for companionship, whether of spouse or friends. We all need connections.

  2. When l moved to a new town and new country.Our son needed medical attention. A church member visited everyday in hospital nothing much to say as we were new but those visits meant a lot.They gave me strength to carry on.

  3. It is good to read about people reaching out to others.
    I have not experienced it much myself, but doing some self reflection I realize that as an introvert I have been closing myself off from others, not sharing my needs nor giving to others.
    An introvert is drained by social interaction, while an extrovert is energized.
    As the church family how can we involve those who are introverts?
    I have two example from my experience, maybe others can provide more.
    First is a blog like this one - SSNET - where we feel safe, part of a community, we can just read or we can contribute, thank you to Inge and the rest who make this possible.
    Secondly I found small groups, either for sabbath school at church or home cells during the week.
    I would recommended to those who are lonely, though it is difficult I know, try reaching out, tell someone how you feel, join a group, find a way to help someone, don't wait for them to come to you - I have been there - I trust the LORD will comfort you. Peter councils us : 1 Peter 5:7 cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

    • I suggest reaching out to someone else who might need encouragement and giving support. It is much easier than trying to get support for oneself. Thus may experience the truth of "Give, and it shack be given unto you."

  4. There are several environments of loneliness that are not mentioned specifically, however, they exist and are causing a great deal of damage. One that I’d like to mention is the loneliness in a family that does not meet the needs of its members. The child who commits suicide because he/she feels alone. The rising rate of childhood suicide is a testimony to many ills, a feeling of loneliness is simply one of them. The married couples who barely speak to one another. Families that no longer speak to a member. An examination of the practice of ‘shunning’ is not limited to the Amish . The elderly who have a family that has cut them off the communications list. The loneliness caused by the longing to be with and understood by those who, it is perceived, should alleviate loneliness. As we reach out to others, which is our mandate, let us not forget those in our immediate and extended families.

  5. I am a loner by nature it seems. I think much of it was brought on by living in a family that from my third grade year on moved a good bit due to various circumstances in my father's work and economic conditions. Each move meant uprooting from friends, familiar surroundings, and learning to integrate into the next place of settling. New schools. New neighbors. Disruptive. So I learned to expect life as a constant round of change. It developed in me a independence and, unfortunately, never letting grass grow in any of my relationships.

    There is a blessing and a curse being a loner. You adapt to change easier (though as I get older, that isn't so easy anymore) and you have the means to do so readily. The downer is lacking deep friendships. Not lacking friends, just those relationships that have a lot of history together, a shared sense of that history.


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