When the Garage Door Goes Down . . .

It’s that time of year again. Everyone is busy, busy, busy. Schools have started. Churches have launched “Vision Sunday.”  Fall programs are beginning. Calendars are filling up. And everyone—especially moms—seems to be on the run.

Lives look full to overflowing. We’re connected all over the place. Not just through our smartphones, but right here in our communities—through the classroom, the gym, the coffee shop, the carpool. Or are we?  

When the garage door goes down . . . well, maybe not so much. I suspect—in fact, I’m quite convinced—there’s a lot of loneliness amidst all this busyness. A lot of emptiness on the other side of that garage door. Oh, I know, I know, folks are connected all over the world via the internet: texting, tweeting, emailing, posting statuses, checking Instagram. We’re overconnected, if anything.

But are we, really?  Who knows when you’re hurting via Facebook?  Who brings a meal when your kids are sick and you just had a miscarriage?  Who sees—across the internet—the tears that lie just below the surface when you talk about missing your family?  Who hears the pause in your voice when you’re asked how your kids are adjusting to school this year?

It can be pretty quiet on the other side of that garage door. A couple of statistics our pastor quoted Sunday back up my suspicions: one in four Americans say they have no one to talk to about their joys and sorrows.  One in four!  One in two say that, outside of family, they have no one to turn to in time of need. Yes, that’s half.

beautiful woman looking out through venison blinds

So . . . why do we need Mom to Mom? Why do the leaders need it just as much as the member moms? Why do we need to be on the lookout in our neighborhoods, on our playgrounds, and in our churches for people who, though they look busy busy busy,  are feeling lonely on the inside—and maybe a little scared?

It reminds me of a church we visited when we had just moved to a new part of the country. There was a shelf labeled “For lost and lonely Bibles.”  How about lost and lonely people, I wondered?  Or how about folks just needing a listening ear, a shared laugh, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, or just someone to walk alongside?  Where do they go? 

To Mom to Mom, I hope.  At least some of them. If they get invited.  

So this Fall, instead of just assuming all those busy busy people around you have all the community and support they need, take a chance.  Invite them to come along with you to Mom to Mom.  Or tell them about the group at your church.  Or invite your neighbors in for coffee.  Or a book club.  Or a Bible Study.  Extend a hand through that garage door. Then stand back and watch what God will do.