Saturday, October 15, 2011

Alone? Never.

So I'm skipping around from essay to essay in A Matter of Choice, choosing by title the pieces which sound interesting. And chewing each one, slowly.

But I felt sad for one of the authors this morning when she wrote this about arriving in Mexico for a vacation (of sorts), alone:

"I realized that I had never, in my forty-seven years, had dinner alone in a restaurant...  When I think about going out, an advance video runs through my head: I am sitting at a table trying to look content. The restaurant is filled with smiling, chatting people. I am the only one alone. They are staring, pitying me, wondering where I'm from and why I have no companion."

Good gracious! That's how I always felt, but way back in college while I sat in the cafeteria alone which was often since my friends and I were usually 'on the outs.' The ol' square peg being forced into round holes thing, that was me and a major reason I spent only one year there. I actually preferred eating alone while reading a book--it was the supposed stares of pity from others I minded, though now I realize teenagers are so self-absorbed that probably no one even noticed me enough to pity me. Alas.

But long before I turned 47, I'd grown past those silly fears and often I'd go out for coffee alone or to movies, these times actually pitying other people because they couldn't see Jesus sitting right there beside me. 

No, seriously. I'd always place my purse on one chair (or upon the floor) and leave one empty chair for Him and we'd have these secret rendevous', well, that's how I like to remember them.

 My 40's felt downright enchanted because I'd been 'practicing the presence of God' (have you read that amazing book?) since age 35 when some pretty special things happened (long story). And how lovely to discover true freedom in layers, going deeper by the year and by experience. How marvelous to become more aware of what Jesus is saying about you than any perceived criticisms by strangers.

Well, my 50's didn't start out exactly in the enchanting realm, but they're traveling closer by the day. I've returned to my Real Life, the one pre-designed by God (who knows best) and once again He and I are hanging-out at local coffee shops and movie theaters and having a grand ol' time.

And today? Today I'm hoping you can easily sit in a restaurant or a theater, coffee shop or church  and feel whole, even alone. That you, my fellow square-peggers, don't need another person or certain clothes, houses or cars before you feel loved, accepted and just fine. And that wherever you find yourself, you can turn your face and glimpse Jesus, Himself, pressed against your shoulder and hear Him whisper, "Today and always, you are so very, very loved."


A special thanks to Kim for posting this quote at Facebook (it also helped inspire this post):

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -- Roald Dahl


The photo, above, was taken outside of the window above our kitchen sink.


Speaking of movies, I may return to the just-like-time-travel theater today, though with Tom in tow. We'd really like to see Contagion. Just our kind of flick.  :)



Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I'm still shy about eating alone in a restaurant! Ah, well. Maybe I'll have an epiphany one of these days. I loved Brother Lawrence's book when I was in high school and haven't seen a copy for years. Have to keep my eyes open.....You and Tom have a happy weekend!

Anonymous said...

You make good points...and one does need to be able to be comfortable alone, as far as humans go...knowing that our FATHER is with us, unseen by others. I rarely go out alone anymore, but that is because of how difficult driving is here in this area. But I rather enjoy shopping alone mostly, because one can go at their own pace, stay as long or as little as desired in any one spot, sometimes stopping to chat with strangers who also want to chat. Hubby has become pretty good at that nowadays, which as we age, is also important, never knowing whom will need to be the shopper one day (both our dads outlived our moms by a LONG time, in fact one is yet alive and doing ok now 13 years since the mom died).

You are not alone in often being the one unable to fit the boxes other people prefer to be in. It has been my life as well. I do have friends and good ones, but I usually do not see them face to face, due to the distance. Yes, have some new friends here, but to this point, we do not spend much time face to face either. I realize if I outlive my husband, will probably need to find ways to have more face to face encounters of meaning. He is enough at this point. One adjusts to how life plays out, eh? The internet has helped some in "being with" others and I am grateful for that.

Elizabeth in NC

K.E. said...

Debra, I found the Roald Dahl quote on

It's a good one, no?

oneme said...

I'm not sure what you may be thinking? Maybe you can expound on what the Roald Dahl quote has to do with Jesus? Just an encouragement for you that it may not be positive for some people to read that quote as magic has nothing to do with Jesus, or do you see it another way? please let me know how you think about this? Thanks, just a concerned Believer - Ess

Debra said...

Hi Ess-- when I mention 'magic' I mean seeing what is good and right and enchanting about this life. And as those things are so often hidden to people who see things only one way-- a strict, legalistic way--it is often hidden to them and they slowly seep into a boring, same ol' same ol' kind of existence which inspires no one.

I, personally, believe that Jesus came to give us an abundant, creative life! One that is new every morning and filled with expectation and wonder.

I hope this answers your question. Thanks for commenting! Blessings, Debra