Last night I had a very strange experience. I spent the whole evening, and night in a house by myself, with no one else there. Now quite a number of my close friends live alone so this is usual for them, and they’re probably wondering why I’m writing about it at all. It’s not common for me though, in fact the last time it happened was at least two or three years ago.

I travel a lot, but I always stay with friends. Sometimes my partner will be out for the evening, and not get home till after I’ve gone to bed, but even then the kids are there. I work alone in my office in town, but I see and talk to the people in the surrounding offices several times a day and many of them are close friends.

So it was weird. There was so much space, and time, and it was so quiet. Part of me wanted to ring people up, to have someone to talk to. Another part of me was captivated by the peace, the silence, and didn’t want to interrupt it. I wasn’t at all lonely, I was just unused to being alone.

Perhaps that’s why I like Meeting for Worship so much. Because there is that space, time, and silence, but we’re not alone, we do it together. And that’s the paradox of life. We are all absolutely unique, distinct and alone, and we are all completely connected, part of a greater whole.


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