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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Alone But Not Lonely

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  May 1, 2020 --

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

To some people being alone and being lonely amount to the same thing. But it need not be so. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, loneliness is “sadness because one has no friends or company” or “being without companions”. But to those who truly believe in God, we are never without friends or company. Even though unseen, God is with us always, and is always willing to provide us company even when we seem to be alone.

We read in Psalm 27 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Even when others forsake us, God is with us. And we are never forsaken when troubles surround us.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

And in the New Testament we read in Paul’s Letter to the Romans:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Being assured that God is with us always, perhaps we should look forward to being alone, because then there will be fewer distractions between us and God. From a very early time some people have found this way of drawing closer to the Almighty. Remember that while Moses was alone in the western desert, tending his father-in-law’s sheep, he encountered God at the foot of Mt. Horeb. And it was also alone in a cave on Mt. Horeb where Elijah heard God speak to him “in a still small voice”.

The gospels testify that Jesus often went out alone to the mountains or wilderness to pray. And there are many examples of early Christians seeking solitude to get closer to God. Most famous of these were the Desert Fathers, early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who, starting in the early third century A.D., inhabited the Scetes desert of Egypt. The collective wisdom of the insights they gained by their solitude had a major influence on the development of Christianity.



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