Nothing beats a hug… For people who live by themselves during this pandemic the cessation of meaningful human contact can create a sense of isolation, even despair. When we cannot share time with others who are important to us, we experience profound pain and uneasiness.
Loneliness is an extended state of restlessness or discomfort when one perceives a gap between the need for social connection and the opportunity to experience it. Even some people, who are surrounded by others throughout the day or are in a long-term relationship, can still experience a deep, pervasive loneliness. This is never good.
Solitude, on the other hand, can be very creative and fulfilling. Solitude is a voluntary sabbath or breaking in upon the craziness around us. Some time away, physically or mentally,can allow a person to unwind, increase concentration on critical concerns, and allow an individual to find his or her voice. Controlled solitude can give us a sense of fullness and bring us closer to God. We have the example of Jesus who would go off by himself to pray.
In conversations with some of you I have been relieved to know you are doing well and content being in solitude, using the time to read or work on projects or hobbies. I hope that continues to be your experience, it is a gift.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), the great African bishop and theologian, once said: Thou hast made us for thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee. So, let us see this restlessness for what it is … the second most precious thing in life that calls us to do and be more. Our greatest blessing is that perfect rest and peace that comes when we place our faith, without condition, in the God we have come to know through Jesus Christ.
Let us pray: Loving God, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for me. I trust your Love God, and know that you will heal this stress just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night. Amen.
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier