The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Facing loneliness

Christmas isn't merry for everyone

Cards and media messages at Christmas present happy images that don’t resonate with everyone. In the popular Christmas movie The Polar Express, a friendless little boy from a poor neighborhood said sadly, “Christmas doesn’t work for me.” Holidays that for many mean togetherness and belonging are times of loneliness for others.

There are several ways to describe what I do as a program coordinator for a Lutheran congregation. The easiest way to sum it up is: I deal with loneliness.

I see it everywhere. In the recently widowed. In the eyes of the college or high school student who is struggling. In the eyes of a “happily married woman.” And in the eyes of the divorced people with whom I work. Most uncomfortably, I see it in myself. Working with the loneliness of others reminds me of my own.

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February issue


Embracing diversity