Friday, July 29, 2011

SPIRITUALITY & SOLITUDE

Who am I and what I becoming when I am alone?

PLACE OF CONTINUOUS RESOURCING. I am not sure who stated it, but I contemplate it occasionally: “Spirituality is what one does with one’s solitude.” The Scriptures invite: "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." "Be still and know that I am God." Learning to value aloneness and to practice solitude has been one of the most resourceful developments of my adult life. Just as readily, I could sing the praise and power of community engagement as a second and equally valuable pole of spiritual vitality.

I wrote the following during one contemplation of solitude:

Apart from the crowd, peers, assembly, spotlight
Apart from family, siblings, spouse
Apart from church and program
When outward action is ceased
When one is alone
What are we?
Who am I?

To whom do I listen?
To what do I give my attention?
What occupies my consciousness?
Where do I turn?

Out of aloneness
Out of solitude
Emerges the shaping of the soul
Which either breathes energy and shalom,
Community formation and kinship,
Or barriers of fear, doubt, and suspicion.

O, to be conversant in the stillness of solitude
With love divine itself.

Here, shape my soul
And fill it
With creative redemption.

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