Monday, October 22, 2007

Being Alone

Earlier this year I purchased a most thought-provoking devotional entitled A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A passage from earlier this month stands out to me as significant for the description of present dynamics within our shared family life.

Simply stated, our family life together currently leaves little time for being alone. Especially our dear mother and aunt have been even sacrificing sleeping hours to change Grandpa and sustain his feeding tube. At times as such, living in community poses very real and difficult challenges, that are, of course, worth it. I think Bonhoeffer knew this when he penned the following words that currently challenge my life.

Whoever cannot stand being in community should beware of being alone. You are called into the community of faith; the call was not meant for you alone. You carry your cross, you struggle and you pray in the community of faith, the community of those who are called. If you neglect the community of other Christians, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your being alone can only become harmful for you. 'If I die, then I am not alone in death; if I suffer, they (The community of faith) suffer with me." (Luther)... Only in the community do we learn to be properly alone; and only in being alone do we learn to live properly in community. Both belong together.