Words of Hope: Courage Erases Loneliness

How many of our friends and family struggle with feeling alone? My Dad loved the great poet Maya Angelou who said, “We, unaccustomed to courage, exiles from delight, live coiled in shells of loneliness.” Christmas is a time many people feel most alone. Despite all the decorations, presents, and family, there is a deep and abiding emptiness for some people. We can have a house full of people and still feel utterly alone.

I like how Maya Angelou says we are unaccustomed to courage. I believe this is one of the reasons for our tremendous collective loneliness.

Dad loved to tell campers, “Picture your mom right now. Can you see how she goes through the day? What are some of the heavy burdens she is carrying right now? What words could you write to her to help her feel seen and loved?” How different our lives become when we leave our own shells of loneliness and reach out to others.

Dad was the best I have seen at the courage to reach out to people and make meaningful connection. He never felt afraid to love people unabashedly. Sometimes I would feel nervous—how will this person respond? Overwhelmingly, people responded with delight. In minutes, Dad would be praying with an Uber driver who had been a pastor in Uganda, laughing with a family in the elevator, or making a friend on an airplane. Dad fought the loneliness of the world with the courage to love. He left his insulated shell and engaged with joy.

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” = Romans 15:13