Our family recently moved, so this week of back to school has been a challenging one. I’m usually a bit of a mom mess when school starts anyway, so dropping my kids off to a new location and watching them tentatively┬átry to find their place in a different setting has been hard. Change is hard. But, they have been doing great. (Fortunately, they are tougher than me!) Today, I thought with a smile that it was the first morning this week that I didn’t cry. I was proud of myself!

Then, I drove by the high school at lunch. I saw a boy. He was eating his sandwich alone. Sitting on the curb. Perhaps it’s because I am already super emotional this week, but my eyes filled up with tears again. This time for a child that was not mine.

I mean, it’s highly possible that he just wanted to get some air. Maybe there were no spots left in the cafeteria or maybe he was waiting for someone to pick him up. But the most likely scenario was that he had no friends, and no one to eat with and to think that was why he was sitting out on a curb by the side of the road eating a sandwich was enough to break my heart.

You don’t have to be starting a new school to feel alone. All around us there are people who are eating their sandwiches at the curb. And sometimes we don’t even see them.

Often when we are secure, we don’t always notice the insecure.

The popular don’t always see the unpopular.

The happy don’t connect with the sad.

The groups forget about the individuals

It’s not that we don’t care. We just get so comfortable in our belonging that we forget how it felt when we were alone.

I saw myself in that boy, sitting alone at the curb.

I remember times during my life that I have longed to be a part, just waiting to be invited, wanting to belong. My heart crying out, “Someone, please notice me. I am worthy of your attention. Give me a chance!”

Love not received, is a lonely life.

There’s a reason that, “the greatest of these is love.”

It wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to stop and offer to hang out with the boy at the curb. (And likely wouldn’t have been welcome!) But I said a prayer for him, whatever his situation may be.

It reminded me to look beyond my comfortable places of belonging. Wherever we are, whatever we do, there are people around us who need love. Who are longing for love. In some cases – ready to give up on life because they are searching for love that they can’t find. Sitting at the curb alone, wanting to be noticed and waiting for someone to care about them.

I’m so thankful that there are people who included me, that loved me, that noticed me. That pulled me off the solitary curb into relationship.

Let’s be those people who love.

Let’s be those people who look for those who need love.

No on sitting on the curb alone.