Wow! People are lonely, right? I was floored by the requisite loneliness needed to make Queer Eye (Netflix’s new/old hit) work so well. The show is a testament to how completely isolated so many people feel. The show is more than a makeover show. It’s a life-over show. Five incredibly fashionable gay men help a fashion-clueless guy with low self-esteem do something big. One of them needed the “Fab 5” to haul him off the couch and pursue his interests again. Another guy needed the love of the hosts to get the confidence necessary to kill it at a comedy show.
I was struck by each hapless man’s loneliness and the solution offered to them (and preached to us) by the show. Money might have been the most powerful force. “Get new stuff, get new clothes, get a new you” was loud and clear, but the more compelling side of the show was the love. The Fab 5 gathered around the man and loved him into something new. It was a lot like a cell! The week-long time frame is a little far-fetched, but I think the love was real. These guys nominated to be on the show were so ready to connect! And there are so many people like them.
This is not a new revelation, but DANG! it’s so real. You might be feeling lonely right now. If you are, I hope you’ll try out one of Circle of Hope’s cells because cells are another chance at family. Cells are the Anti-loneliness. Cells are even better than the Fab 5 because they are reality and not just reality TV. Cells are not even close to as extravagant, but they are much more real. The love is much less dependent on new kitchens and rolled-up blazer sleeves. They happen in regular people’s homes, with no budgets, but they offer the same healing love and then some.
Cells are circles of ten gathered around Jesus. They offer healing love and anti-loneliness, but also purpose and meaning beyond our own desires. We hope this way of extending the kingdom of God can help actualize reconciliation and the new transformation Jesus offers everyone. In this hurting, lost, alone era, forming a new, sustainable, flexible community is crucial to everyone’s happiness and health. We are trying to keep up with how Jesus wants to respond to the challenges of our day.
We are addressing this pervasive loneliness in a really creative way. It really works. There are some Netflix-worthy transformations happening in our cells. We’re trusting in the mysterious way of love, and Jesus’ capacity to increase it in us. This trust makes more room for love and for the next person, and our movement grows.