I think it’s possible to be alone, yet not be overcome with loneliness. I had lunch with four widows the other day. I was a quiet observer as they shared and understood each other’s feelings. Then I asked them, “What do you do to keep from being lonely?” Although their answers varied, all answers had to do with serving others.
Seniors Who Serve
I know an eighty-five-year-old woman who is constantly giving to others. She volunteers at a local hospital twice a week. Last year she served nearly 500 hours! Her home is always open to her college-age grandkids and their friends when they’re hungry or need a place to simply hang out. She bakes and shares homemade bread, cultivates and shares her garden produce. She keeps track of other senior women in her neighborhood. If someone is sick, they can expect a card, a call, or some delicious home-cooked food.
I also know an eighty-seven-year-old man who is a retired dentist. For the past seven years he has volunteered his services to work on a mobile dental unit parked in a local church parking lot. He has treated over 2,000 patients who have no insurance and low income. He doesn’t charge for his services, and has given away over $750,000 worth of care! In addition to this local missionary work, he also travels to other countries on short-term mission trips. He’s using the skills that once made him a living to keep on helping others.
Maybe you can’t be as active as these two. But you can give to others even from your own home. I knew a woman who was often house-bound because of health problems. But that didn’t stop her. She had a writing and telephone ministry from her home. Some of the most beautiful and thoughtful letters and cards I’ve ever received came from her. And when she died, her elderly husband picked up her ministry where she left off.
You’re Still Needed
Psalm 92:14 says of the righteous: “They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (NKJV). There’s still so much that you can do for God and for others. And living out your years in serving others will certainly help to lift your loneliness load.
By Nancy Canwell. © 2009 AnswersForMe.org. Click here for content usage information.