Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sitting Alone--And Loving It

During my one-and-only-thank-goodness year of college, I dreaded sitting at tables alone in the busy cafeteria. 

Oh, sitting with just myself felt fine to me, welcomed, even, but what I hated was believing fellow students were staring and pitying me for my aloneness. Always I carried a book with me both because I adored reading while eating and so that I could avoid any sad glances at Lonely Little Loser Girl (as if anyone even noticed mousy me anyway).

I am beyond-words grateful that those days are so over!

Now I go to myriad places by myself and think nothing of appearing alone.  Because I'm so not. In fact, two weekends ago I traveled half-awake one morning to Tim Horton's and my table felt very crowded, indeed. After all, there was me, my decaf cafe mocha and bagel, my Bailey White library book, a sweet contentment and best of all, Jesus. Anyone glancing at me probably just saw an aging, greying mousy me, but alas, our eyes miss so much when we look only on the surface.

How marvelous to sit alone, to spend my so-vital daily quiet time this way. To watch whole groups of people and wonder what sorts of lives they lead. To meditate and pray and number my blessings and to relish not having anyone pull at me, whisking me away to distraction. To lazily scribble lists of things to do and then tuck those lists safely away for their appropriate time.

How amazing to feel that you matter, even alone! And also, to grow-up enough to know your quiet time with God was meant for variety, not boring ruts.

There's freedom in being happy to visit places alone. If Tom is working or just prefers to stay home after working all week, I can still go over to the river or the movies alone-but-not-alone. I can grab my purse and a book and hop into the car smiling, feeling grateful that I didn't (like in the old days) nag Tom or throw a fit just because we wanted to do different things.

For again, technically, I never walk or drive anyplace alone. There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother and what a glorious day it was when He became more real to me than any friend or husband, even. Especially more real than anyone sitting cluelessly nearby, believing I stepped between the doors alone.


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