“At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others,” says young Nick Carraway in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Amid the excitement of a new life in New York, Carraway yet observes so many “poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner—young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.”
A haunting loneliness. Fitzgerald’s description written in 1925 could easily translate to our times: to lonely, anonymous people bustling through shopping malls, office buildings, and grocery stores; to neighbors entering and exiting homes via garage doors, never interacting with those living in close proximity; to a culture abuzz with social networking yet spiraling into everincreasing isolation. Carraway saw it in those around him and he felt it himself. Do you see it? Do you feel it?
Loneliness is becoming an epidemic in our culture, often exacerbated by the very technology we create to connect. It’s not just hurting our feelings; as Jessica Olien reports in Slate.com, it’s also having costly effects on our health, even leading to a significantly increased risk of premature death.
So how can we deal with loneliness when we face it? How can we help the lonely around us? In this issue of Today’s Christian Woman, we tackle this common and difficult struggle.1
Loneliness and God
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