Alone in a crowd

As I scanned the banquet hall filled wall to wall with people, I saw many faces that struck a memory of meeting in the past.
Through the years with some of them, I had even become what might be described as friends. People with whom I had shared common experiences, told stories and found the opportunity to know more about.
Smiles on faces beamed outwardly, hands extended with greetings reached out to others, and laughter filled the room.
I am describing an experience not uncommon, that most folks can relate to, whether the banquet hall hosts a business event or a church gathering.
Most of time in these circumstances, each of us manages to find our place relating with others as our paths cross in the food line or when the activities dictate.
We congregate closest to those with whom we feel safe in most instances passing the light conversations of the day – weather, news topics, or area concerns.
We seldom find it safe enough though to lower whichever mask we are wearing for the event impeding our ability to create stronger relationships.
A missed opportunity to walk closer with others rather than be alone in a sense in a crowd.
I have often left such situations feeling greater loneliness than when I arrived.
My soul feels no fuller by aiding someone to lift a burden they were carrying or no lighter by feeling comfortable enough to share one of my own.
It’s sad that we spend so much of our time here on earth fostering opportunities that do not really bring hope and encouragement into our lives.
It is no wonder, that we see so many faces that reflect a sense of sadness when we can catch them off guard.
Next time you find yourself alone in a crowd, look around, I bet you can find someone else there that is in the same situation, so find a way to bridge the void that isolates you and take the steps that could change your life.