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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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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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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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