Among young adults who are sheltering-in-place with other people, 50% say, “I feel alone.” Before the quarantine, it was 40%. You don’t have to be young to know that hollow feeling of disconnect—and now it seems amplified. Moments of detachment are even interrupting your Netflix binges. It’s true. No friend, no spouse, no church group, no pet, no one will ever meet your messianic expectations. They can’t and you know it.
1. Detachment moments are invitations. God is saying, “Hello, what about me? I’m here.” Lonely moments create space in your heart to “set apart Christ as Lord” (1 Peter 3:15). By transforming loneliness into “solitude of heart,” God creates a precious inner sanctuary inside of you (it is why Peter quotes Isaiah 8:14). Detachment moments are invitations to be alone together with Jesus.
2. When detachment moments transform into receptive solitude, you will develop a heightened sensitivity toward others. Solitude of heart “makes us so alert and aware of the world around us that all that is and happens becomes part of our contemplation and meditation and invites us to a free and fearless response. It is this alertness in solitude that can change our lives indeed” (Henri Nouwen).
3. The beauty of receptive solitude is that it is designed to be shared. “In this solitude we encourage each other to enter into the silence of our innermost being and discover there the voice that calls us beyond the limitations of human togetherness to a new communion … Once we have tasted this solitude a new life becomes possible, in which we can become detached from false ties and attached to God and each other in a surprisingly new way” (Nouwen).
PRAY: Lord, from now on I want to view my lonely moments as invitations to be alone together with you. What will you show me? I look forward to sharing my solitude with others who have met you in their solitude. What will you show us? Suddenly, all this seems rather exciting. I’ll need patience. Thanks Jesus. Amen.