By Chuck Roy, Publisher, The Winnsboro News
It’s Christmas, filled with strings of lights, festive songs, and excitement that children feel when you say the word, “Christmas.” I love it, and I suspect that most of you do as well. I hope so, anyway.
At Christmas, there’s a joy and love that we want to share with everyone around us. It is part of the humanity thing that all of us have inherited. But it’s not easy for everyone. Elvis famously sang that he’s going to have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas without the love of his life, and he’s not alone.
Like many experienced business persons, I read the Barna Group Survey reports. The most recent survey results indicate that nearly one in three people in our country feel lonely. And, of course, like all surveys, they have a name for the condition – “The Loneliness Epidemic.” Just what we need. I can hear you rolling your eyes – what another pandemic?
Well, in this case, no. But it is a circumstance that many of our Northeast Texas residents may have experienced from time to time. Loneliness is not uncommon this time of year and is indiscriminate in its affliction. For example, think of your neighbors, the people you work with, the person sitting in the truck next to you, maybe even yourself. There are plenty of lonely people to go around. We are unfortunately a society of many lonely people.
As Joel Salatin, the high priest of the pasture says, “Folks, this ain’t normal!”
We need Christmas. We need to let hope and love flood our hearts, to remember when in our history that someone reached out to us, right where we were in our deepest depression, in our loneliness, in our anxiety. When we felt the crisis of life, someone took our hand and made a difference. That need has not, and does not change.
We are created for genuine community with friends, family, and other people. In the beginning, He said it wasn’t good for us to be alone. And while my Pastor-Editor is much more capable of addressing this, I wholeheartedly agree.
We were created for a deep spiritual community with people. A greater community than a cat, or dog, than a Facebook group, or rooting for your sports team can fill. We were designed for a spiritual community – a healthy community, made up of families and singles, men and women, people of every age, ethnicities, and even, yes, political positions.
A healthy community looks like living life together beyond Sunday mornings, sharing life together, sharing each other’s burdens, playing with and praying for each other. It looks like getting beyond the surface level makeup of what we want people to see and being honest with each other, and, on occasion, greeting strangers and lonely people alike into a sharing of our stories of joy.
Fuel your hometown passion and plug into the stories that define us. Be part of an authentic community, you deserve it.
The Winnsboro News has been a part of our community for more than 115 years. We told the stories of your grandparents and parents. We have told your stories and those of your children and your grandchildren. Everyone’s stories live here. Maybe that is our Christmas gift to you – a continuity of community. And let’s share it. We need each other just as we need Christmas.