Loneliness, Conviviality and Healing
(Posted October 11, 2019)
"Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation." --- Wendell Berry, 21st century Poet and Writer
The funny thing about anxiety -- if there is anything funny about it -- is that, when we are in its grip, we are convinced that we are utterly, totally alone, the only person that we know who is going through it. In this lonely state we are reluctant to tell anyone for fear that people will think we’re strange or weak. Of course, this self-imposed separation only isolates us even more from the very thing we need most -- other caring people.
Church Services on Sunday
Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome to worship with us.
These are anxious times we live in, anyway, and in these past few weeks I have seen way more than a small number members in a pastoral care capacity for different manifestations of the same thing: anxiety. There are several things they share in common. They are genuinely wonderful people, highly responsible people who feel beholden to their family, friends and church. When anxiety makes them unable to be, in their own eyes, as productive as they feel they need to be for others, what results is a sense of guilt, of letting people down. They don’t want to tell the people they love that they’re hurting. And that isolation helps feed anxiety even more. These are our friends who tend to try to live in the future in an effort to divert the next disaster they think that’s coming, a “what if” imaginary thing that actually only lives inside them. No one can actually live in the future, or undo the past, so undue, advance worry accomplishes nothing.
So what’s the answer?
Wendell Berry had part of the answer in the quote above. We need to come together, in honesty and trust, to understand that we are not alone but bonded with “the other creatures in the feast of Creation.” I am currently arranging for Clinical Social Worker Anne Wennerstrand, who came to visit with us a few years ago about depression, to return in the next couple of weeks and spend time with us. She will help teach us techniques for dealing with and relieving anxiety. Another answer can be found by opening your Bible -- and look at the many times that God or God’s messengers tell us to “fear not.” The Angel Gabriel said it to Mary when he surprised her in her room. The choir of angels singing over Bethlehem sang to the frightened shepherds that what was coming was not disaster, but great joy in the form of a tiny baby. Most of all that tiny baby grew up and one day told us this:
“….Be not anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto [a]the measure of his life? And why are you anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these…Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself.” (Luke 6:25-29;34)
See you Sunday for a wonderful Baptism and discussion of healing. - Pastor Pat Kriss