A year ago this week, Tatum O'Neal was arrested for buying cocaine. When she appeared on Oprah last fall to talk about her arrest, Oprah asked her how she could make such a mistake after being clean for 10 months. "I wish I could describe why I would make a decision like this," she said. "I really can't. It baffles me." As I recall, Tatum went on to say that it was a Sunday afternoon, and her kids were with their dad. Oprah interrupted her to say something like, "Sunday is the loneliest day. That's what I used to think when I was single."
That jolted me when I heard it. I don't think of Sunday as a lonely day at all now, in fact it's my favorite day of the week. But it hasn't always been that way for me, and I had forgotten how lonely it can be.
Others say they have felt the loneliest on Sunday. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman reportedly named their daughter Sunday to celebrate the end of lonely Sundays, saying they "dreaded" Sundays before they married in 2006. Keith Urban told Ellen DeGeneres, "particularly when you don't have someone in your life, in my experience, Sunday was the loneliest day. Everyone goes with their families and if you don't have a family, you don't have anybody. It went from being sort of the most dreaded day of the week for us to being the most joyous day, because we just had a family."
That is so painful to hear. While we worship God within the body of Christ, there are people from all walks of life who are doing all they can to make it through the day they think of as the loneliest of the week. And some of them are even worshiping with us, not fully becoming a part of the body. Why is that? Why do so many single people either avoid church altogether, or come to church but hang back, not experiencing what it's like to be part of the family of God?
Sunday can be the most joyous day of the week whether you have a relationship or not, whether you have children or not. Psalm 68 says that God "sets the lonely in families." But we have to be open to whatever kind of family He chooses to place us in. And there is a burden on those of us who are active in our churches - both single and married - to be more sensitive to those who still think of Sunday as the loneliest day.