The Need for Solitude
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.1 Corinthians 12:13
To live in harmony with one another requires introspection. What keeps us from functioning as a body with our brothers and sisters? Pride? The baggage of past hurts? What keeps us distant from the very ones who will bring health and fulfillment to us?
In order to assess these internal issues, we must have a time of solitude, a time to hear from God. In his book on Christian community, Life Together, Deitrich Bonhoeffer devotes two chapters to the pursuit of body life. He entitles them “The Day Together” and “The Day Alone.” In order to live, love, and operate together, we must take time to be alone.
Solitude gives us time to hear God as He probes our souls to convict us of sinful attitudes toward one another. Solitude gives us time to hear God speak to us about our points of brokenness which handicap us from fulfilling community.
As we move toward community, we must also learn to be alone. We need the re-creating stillness of solitude with our Lord if we are to be with others meaningfully.