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THE OPPOSITE OF LONELINESS

By June 11, 2014 3 Comments

MARINA KEEGAN PARENTS“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.”

Marina Keegan was a student at Yale and a student of life.

She was a playwright, a performer, an activist, a poet, a writer of fiction and a journalist for the Yale Daily News.

Five days after she graduated in 2012, 22-year-old Marina was killed in a car accident.

Her final composition went viral in the days following her death.

Marina’s last words hold a bitter sweet irony:

Marina keegan book“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed.

Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights.” (Read the full essay here.)

The Longing For Belonging Is Universal

My context for community is North Pointe Community Church.

I see North Pointe as being full of “tiny circles we pull around ourselves.” Those circles are made of small groups of people connected by a study subject, a shared circumstance or a task.

People who are virtual strangers come together because of an experience that forms the foundation for empathy or a search for knowledge.

They are “in this together.”

Group Life

Some groups are self-descriptive of life stages and struggles: “Single and Parenting,” “Grief Share,” “Singles,” “Marrieds,” and “Divorce Care” 

Other groups are gender and age oriented: “Women of Worth,” “Authentic Manhood,” “Youth,” and “Primetimers,”

Having groups isn’t intended to segregate people. Groups are intended to be “tiny circles” that offer specialized support in the larger context of the North Pointe family.

At North Pointe we use “church family” instead of “congregation” because of the opportunity to cast vision for something special,

something good,

and something of God.

God Is Into Community.

He made us for each other. We were formed for fellowship.

I am committed to continually get better at creating and sustaining the “opposite of loneliness” in the life and ministry of North Pointe.

I want other “Marinas” to find what they’re looking for.

APPLICATION: THANK YOU to all the people who lead our “tiny circles of love” at North Pointe! There is a group for you. Please leave a comment below.


I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 25 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 36 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • adena lowry says:

    My tiny circle at Northpointe this year is with the Walk Run Ride. I have had some really fantastic encounters with participants andor volunteers already. I’m excited about the enthousiam for this event and encouraged by the involvement. Love working with my teammates, and see God’s hand moving.But I have to say that it really started when I participated in the Same Page Iniative small group at the Kimo’s house. God has really blessed me at Northpointe far more than I could have asked. Touches my heart to know that God hears my prayers.

  • bob jones says:

    You’ve really helped lift the level of the WRR this year. Your tiny circle is going to make a big difference in the lives of boys and girls at the Village of Hope. Thanks!

  • Patricia McNeil says:

    The different groups at NP are wonderful. I like “tiny circles of love”. It is difficult though for some people to fit in or belong to any group. What does a person do when they just don’t know how? There is pressure to be in some kind of a group. If you’re not, what’s wrong with you. I love other people. I myself am better with people one on one. I am guessing I’m not the only one like this.

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