There’s something slightly lonely about waking up alone in an empty home on your birthday. For years, I’ve been cooped up on a big white ship or with others on the African continent somewhere or tucked up on a Cornish beach…. but today, alone. I think lockdown has shown me a few things about being ‘alone’ and it feels like such a negative word, but I don’t think it needs to be. I don’t mean to suggest it comes without its struggles or to dress it up as something it is not, but being ‘alone’ can be a beautiful thing. Who else gets to ponder in the deep quietness and hear the whisper of their Maker? He seemed to want to have a breakfast party together and so we did. Like an excited child, He woke me soon after 6. I didn’t have to dress up or even brush my hair. We shared some strawberries. He came real close and began to talk.
He told me why He made me and breathed life into the embers of my soul. It feels self indulgent to think about oneself, doesn’t it? It was. But it’s between me and Him and it was empowering and I felt the delight of His breath on my face. I chose to embrace it and it made my eyes twinkle. We have a phrase, me and Him, “He sees it all’ – He reminds me of it when I am frustrated or feel unseen or misunderstood. He whispers it to me when I feel alone and it settles my Spirit into eternity. His whispers hold the broken parts and somehow their fragility lets the light shine through, even deeper. Even if I’d been surrounded by the closest of friends, they would never have been able to get this close. What a lucky girl I am.
Lockdown loneliness has not been a negative thing for me at all. At the beginning, I feared it would be but it has been a joy to breathe, to feel, to somehow even be-friend myself. I can be fairly hilarious company and make some pretty funny jokes!! I’ve found pure delight in country lane walks and evening bike rides. I’ve felt exhilarated by freezing cold swims in the sea and I have received love in so many different ways. I opened my front door to find a handmade birthday banner, some wine and freshly cut flowers from my neighours. I’m not gonna lie, I cried. I couldn’t hold the tenderness of that moment. A tenderness that lockdown had boxed away and yet one that human life could not help but breakthrough.
As I think of all the pain in the world – the grief, the hatred, the <black lives matter> and wonder why such a phrase should even need to exist, I remember, too, that He sees it all and I pray that over every human I can think of. May each precious life know joy that can be found in being ‘alone’, of having the sight of their Makers eyes on them, of knowing that His love changes everything and that, if you are willing, breakfast in bed with Him is an option open to all. Take a moment and let your Maker whisper. In Him there is purpose, in Him there is intimacy, in Him there is such vibrant beauty.
I’m thankful for my life, I’m thankful for all the ways I’ve experienced joy and love and I am filled with hope as I trust that the best is always yet to come. Who knows if my passport will get to see the light of day in 2020? I know Mercy Ships are just doing their best and whilst we wait, I won’t make that my goal, but instead I will learn to love and be loved right where I am. I will have more breakfasts in bed with Him, if I can.
And so I’m praying that I may never lose this joy of being ‘alone’. It’s beginning to mean something different and the negative connotations have gone. It’s a rich place, a secret place, a place free from distraction, perhaps even a favourite place. There is pain mixed in but pain that has led me to the most beautiful intimacy of all. It’s full of imperfection and it seems, perhaps, that is where the joy was hidden all along.
May you hear His whispers too.
Love always, KWW