Let me make a few observations thus far as I have reflected on this book and the book club. Hopefully, this makes sense even if you have not read the book or joined the book club.
First of all, there is a time to be alone and a time to be in community. That almost sounds like it comes from Ecclesiastes 3, but it doesn't. In other words, both being alone and being part of community are natural parts of life. However, when we do not have time to be alone, we often experience stress. We can't healthily always be on the run with people; we need times of stillness and solitude. When we do not have time to be in community, we experience grief. We all need people in some form; we were created to be in relationship with people. Some need more than others, but we all need people.
Secondly, some of my most painful times of loneliness did not occur when I was alone. Loneliness often occurs when we are with people but not connecting. For example, I play a lot of basketball which is a team sport and meant to be played with people. I get disappointed if I go the basketball court and no one is there. I shoot for awhile, but then I head home. I am so much more discouraged when I go the basketball court and there are many people and am not included. To get into a basketball game often depends on your connections. That has left me out several times. Boy, does that hurt. Loneliness often hurts more when you are in a crowd than when you are alone.
Thirdly, the author of the book writes that we have a God hole within us and that we were meant to fill that hole with God and have a friendship with him. A couple people in the book club commented that they never heard this before in their church. They complained that they were only taught doctrine. My response: doctrine is not dead; the teaching of doctrine is dead. Doctrine teaches us who this God is with whom we may have a friendship. Study doctrine not to pass a theology test. Study doctrine to know God our friend with whom we may have a friendship.