Whether or not this societal moment of ‘social distancing’ is politically just or not, it is upon us. I am finding, as everyone, most of my ways of going out and doing things are not available. It feels like God is giving His people, the whole world, a time out. For me aloneness is already my biggest problem in life, but it is also a great asset in that I am a creative person, and I need time to follow through on inspirations. It gives me time with my feelings about God, time to reflect and meditate on the Word, to understand and feel the presence of the Lord Jesus. It’s hard to be alone, I feel like I have not been very good at it. I think God is teach us something now. This may be the quiet before the greatness, the preparation needed to grow to a new level – to find the right attitude of humility and strength and obedience – so that we can receive and know ourselves within and as a nation.
Without as many distractions we have a chance to go within. What have we been avoiding? When I am alone and lonely, and suffering great longing, I find the only way out is to go within. This social distancing is costing us, there are real economic losses. Small business especially are taking a huge hit, many may not make it, mortgages may not be paid. The strain initiates some real pain and reflection. It is a societal condition in the whole world. We have to learn to take our feelings and problems to God. This is the real work. It takes away the vying and contention with the world and those who hurt us – to the source that can truly be trusted. From this we can deal with responsibilities, problems and injustices more effectively.
Aloneness is a yearning. It becomes despair if we can’t see and we let it consume us, but it is a source of treasure if we look into it. Loneliness is like white light; it’s a general pain; it looks TV snow, but in it are many colors that need to be sorted out. We have to think about what we are really yearning for, what is most important to us. Now we have more time to stop and meditate on these things; to take naps that are really self soothing meditations on these painful yearnings. If we do not deal with these inner feelings they remain, and we will repeat them. Loneliness can be seen as something to cherish because in it God is yearning for us to know Him!
Henry Nouwen, the author of ‘The wounded Healer’, wrote: “Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self… Solitude is very different from a ‘time-out’ from our busy lives. Solitude is the very ground from which community grows. Whenever we pray alone, study, read, write, or simply spend quiet time away from the places where we interact with each other directly, we are potentially opened for a deeper intimacy with each other…. Nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not, ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”.
Trump gave a great statement to America, saying that this event will bring us together and we will recover and become even greater for it. In the end the purpose is so that we can be together better and appreciate each other more sincerely, to be more vulnerable and more caring.
Even if (in the worst case scenario) the whole virus thing were the schemes of evil, it doesn’t change the spiritual value I am speaking of. God uses evil to achieve his purposes all the time. He wants to remove evil.