Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Glimpses of Glory in Lent - Day 21 Lonely

I remember the first weeks in grammar school.
I was lonely.

In the village primary school I had known everyone. I was secure in the village where I had always lived. I knew the lanes, the woods, the downs. I understood the changing seasons, the rhythm of liffe on the local farms. I rode my bike for miles around the country lanes, sometimes alone but never lonely.
I belonged here.

But the hour-long bus ride to the city separated me from all that was familiar.
No-one else from the village went to the grammar school in the city.
The class was half the size of my primary school, the year group was twice as big.
Everyone else seemed to have their friends, to know their place.
The break times were interminable. They were times to wander aimlessly; lonely but feigning a purpose that didn't exist. Sitting on the school field pretending to be waiting for some-one.

After the eternity of loneliness I fell into belonging. I made friends. I walked with purpose. I flourished.

How easy it is to be comfortable in belonging and blind to those who are lonely in the friendly crowd.

I pray that I will be aware and that my belonging will not be exclusive.

(Reflection inspired by Loneliness - Stephen Cherry)

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