I have come to conclude that existential loneliness is our default position. But when we are a part of the church, many of us assume that because we are surrounded by people our loneliness will be remedied. Not!
Some claim that it is when we are most out of touch with our truest selves that we experience the deepest sense of loneliness because we don’t even know or love ourselves. I think this is true.
I want to share with you a little bit today about my online community, The Lasting Supper. There are some church-goers there. But there are also many people who’ve left the church. Unanimously, we all agree that we still experience this existential loneliness. We also realize that going back to a church will not solve this problem. We have lost friends. But we wonder how genuine the friendships were in the first place. We used to be lonely surrounded by people. Now we are lonely without the crowd.
Online relationships are not the same as face to face. I’ll admit that. But I also have to admit that since launching The Lasting Supper, I have made genuine friends and have found a community in which I can totally be myself. I would love love love to be with these people. But since that’s not possible right now, meeting and sharing together online suffices. I mean, I see one or two now and then. But the group of us. Not possible. But we are communicating and fellowshipping and supporting one another online with The Lasting Supper website, as well as our secret Facebook group which is super active and fun. Plus we have chatrooms which are simply a riot!
We are planning some meet-ups. In fact, many of our members… there are over 300 members now… are meeting up in their different locations around the world. In April 2014 we are planning on having a gathering in Las Vegas. I can’t wait. I love these people, and they love me. We feel it. And it’s wonderful.
The loneliness Lisa and I experienced while in the church… because we felt limited in how much we could be ourselves… and the loneliness we experience now… because we are no longer surrounded by people… is somewhat remedied by our online community. Because we can be real with real people who are supportive, great listeners, validating, respectful, and fun.
So, are you lonely? Are you looking for a super-safe place where you can be appreciated, respected and loved as the real you? I personally and warmly invite you to check out The Lasting Supper. Will I see you there?