Praise to you, Lord of the lonely places of quiet solitude where you chose to withdraw for prayer. For rest.
I am drawn to these places, too, because I always find you there and am renewed. Restored.
But sometimes lonely places barge in the door, drop baggage on the floor and invade us with the deep ache of isolation, of exclusion, of being uninvited, unnoticed, unliked, unfriended…
Here solitude stings. Doesn’t soothe.
Praise to you, Lord, even in these insidious lonely places because your hand still guides us, your right hand still holds us fast. Because you are forever and always Emmanuel — God with us — we are never alone.