While watching the local news recently, I heard a heart warming story. A school student body was raising money by selling candy grams for Valentine's Day. A sucker was attached to a Valentine's card and delivered to the chosen student by paying a mere fifty cents. A young student asked his mother permission to buy all 750 students a candy gram. This entailed him emptying his piggy bank entirely. The young man, who has autism, wanted every student in the school to know they were included and had a friend. The money was being raised to purchase "Buddy Benches". This beautiful concept entails a student who is feeling left out or lonely sitting on the Buddy Bench to signify they would like someone to come and talk to them.
Perhaps I should put a "Buddy Bench" in front of my house or designate my swing the "Buddy Swing". There are times I yearn for conversation and no one is around to share. It has been extremely difficult here in Fort Worth to find those buddies to fill that void of silence. I find myself striking up a conversation with perfect strangers in the grocery store, at the gas station, and even walking the dog. I am hungry for interaction.
While it was easier in Ruston with a lifetime of friends--there were still times of intense loneliness. I could talk to Hero, but his conversational skills are slim to none. It would be nice to have someone to trade the tales of the day, call with my latest bumble, speak of deep thoughts of God, and perhaps even talk about the crazy weather. God gave us a voice for a purpose--to communicate--and being single can lead to Communication Deprivation.
Today's high tech world has further isolated us all. How many times have you been in a public place and seen everyone with their nose stuck in front of some screen. I am guilty at times also. Once I look around and see everyone staring at the little screen, I begin to feel inadequate and out of touch for not sharing in the world of social media. This is truly a SAD state of affairs!
While visiting my friends in Ruston or my recent visit with friends in Raleigh, the time is not spent seeking constant entertainment, but instead in old fashioned conversation. Listening and speaking-contributing and gleaming-giving and taking in a lively conversation. It has been my experience one never feels alone when engaged in conversation.
So what should we do as singles? Install a "Buddy Bench"? I am searching--always searching for ways to establish those lines of communication. In the meantime, I cling to these words,
"I trust there is more. There is always more."
And remember, God is often found in the silence.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.