A Lonely Place
|((photo m.newsom photography))|
"Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in danger. Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures. The careful balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community forms the basis of the Christian life and should therefore be the subject of our most personal attention...
Mark 1:35: "In the morning, long before dawn, [Jesus] got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there." ...
The more I read this nearly silent sentence locked in between the loud words of action, the more I have the sense that the secret of Jesus' ministry is hidden in the lonely place where he went to pray, early in the morning, long before dawn.
In the lonely place, Jesus finds the courage to follow God's will and not his own; to speak God's words and not his own; to do God's work and not his own. He reminds us constantly: "By myself I can do nothing...I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me" (Jn 5:20). And again, "What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works" (Jn 14:10). It is in the lonely place, where Jesus enters into intimacy with the Father, that his ministry is born."
-Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Mediations on the Christian Life