Our “lost soul” has no one meeting the definition of a “close friend”. Our “lost soul” considers himself to have little social value. He doesn’t engage easily in conversation, convinced that his opinions contribute nothing to the dialogue. “I don’t say anything that ‘they’ don’t already know.”
He looks in the mirror and says to himself, “In this world which places a premium on physical good looks and strong appearance, I am a loser.”
He thinks of his biological family, and says, “They are all pursuing their dreams, their fortunes, their liaisons, their careers. They have the talents to do that. Furthermore, they judicially select their company and social connections to further their ends. I contribute nothing to their goals.” So, not even family gives any solace to the “lost soul”.
“When in school, I found studying too hard, especially when I was in classes with others who got good grades without hardly working at all. I gave up what effort I had invested, and was finally judged to be non academic material. But, I wasn’t attracted to others who were lumped into that same category, and they likewise weren’t attracted to me.”
He is, by this point, convinced that there are “good” reasons for no one to be interested in getting close to him.
One day, our “lost soul” happens to be in the right place at the right time, and attracts the attention of a fringe group, a cult with religious tendencies. They are looking for new adherents, and “reach” out to our “lost soul.” Thrilled with the attention directed his way, he engages in conversation, doesn’t sense rejection on their part, and is encouraged to pursue the matter further. As he acquiesces to their interest and affirmations that he is a person of value, he also unthinkingly adapts to and adopts the group think of his new friends. He doesn’t even wonder if he is paying a high price for his new sense of belonging. Rather, he is thinking, “Why didn’t I find this group long ago?”
Keeping in mind the case just described, let’s not ignore the reality – the power of wanting to be part of a genuinely caring group, or a group that is at a minimum projecting a caring attitude, can bring us to not think clearly. Our emotional and social needs frequently outstrip our mental need for truth. The faulty thinking that was part of the process leading the fellow to become a “lost soul” is now perpetuated by absorbing the group think of the “caring group.”
The restorative salvation of this lost soul will be costly. Fortunately for the lost soul, for all of us if the truth be told, there is Someone for whom the price was, and still is, within reach.