The world is full of people who would like to belong to a stable family. Even in a small community like the one where I live, I am constantly reminded of this need.

Family is something that many take for granted. It just seems the natural thing. They have had a good relationship with their own parents and enjoy the same with their own children and grandchildren. That does not mean that there are never any problems, but they always know they can count on family if things are difficult. Even those who sometimes appear to always be fighting can be counted upon to fight for each other when tough times come.

If you are one of those fortunate ones, have you ever considered what it might be like to not know anyone you could turn to in time of trouble?

There are people all around you who face that very fear. I often hear the elderly express the fear of "dying alone." I know, for some at least, that must be terrifying. However, "living alone" strikes me as far more difficult.

Imagine being one who cannot make one false step. Most of us are concerned when we are ill or miss a day of work. However, many live day-to-day and a few days of illness produces a radical change — they have no money to pay their regular bills, much less their doctor bills.

Some think that they should be able to make it up later, but they will not be any more able to do so tomorrow — or next week or next month — than today. Through no fault of their own, these people often get so far behind that they lose their apartment, their auto, and basically their ability to function in a world where these things are required to continue to survive.

Shouldn't they turn to family? There is none. How about friends? What few connections they may have are likely to be no more able to rescue them than they would have been able to rescue their companions in the reverse situation.

Is there a solution?

The only one is for good people who love the Lord God with all their hearts and love their neighbors as themselves to show that love in relationships. The "loner" and the lonely may not choose to develop a relationship on their own. However, we should make it clear that our willingness to help others in times of trouble is not based on who they are, but on who we are — and the one to Whom we belong.

Is there a solution?
If we are truly the "Family of God," there are no outsiders when it comes to those whom we will help. Our family knows this, our friends know this, and even our neighbors know this. It just needs to be so clearly demonstrated that those who may only know about us will see it and know it is true! We can point to the command to love God and neighbor on our signs, preach it from our pulpits, and print it in our writings, but none of that has any value unless we live it in our lives.

The Pharisee said, "Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?" Jesus answered, "'You must love the Lord your God. You must love him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: 'You must love other people the same as you love yourself.' All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands." (Matthew 22:36-40)