All is not right in my little world. There haven’t been any major disasters or glaring indiscretions, but there’s an emptiness inside. I’m out of fellowship–there’s not a body of believers surrounding me–and I feel like I’m drowning in loneliness.
I have a church home locally and I take part in a community group on a weekly basis. (Well, in theory. We didn’t meet for a month.) But I’m not at home there, and I know it’s at least as much me as it is them.
It’s easy to go to church once a week–to slip in the back and leave again without interaction. When I do engage in conversation, it’s so roughtine I ought to make a tape recording. “My name is CJ, I just received my master’s in journalism from Alabama and I’m looking for a job.” This is the sum of my interactions with virtually everyone in Birmingham.
I feel I have nothing to offer–like it’s my fault for being unemployed. I feel like an unproductive member of society. But I know that’s not entirely true. I’m still able to maintain engaging conversations with people who really know me. I can talk for hours about next to nothing.
I know it’s not all me. I even met a couple guys from church at Starbucks the other day. One struck up conversation when he saw what I was reading. We had an enjoyable, though brief, conversation that broke the aforementioned mold.
So I know it’s possible to have deeper conversations and healthy friendships. I just don’t have a lot of that in Birmingham, and it weighs on me. I’m tempted to think finding a job and moving away would solve this problem. But I know it’s not that easy. I have to take risks, resolve conflict, invest in others–because I know the potential payoff is greater than the risks.
It’s one thing to acknowledge that; it’s quite another to do something about it.