“Aloneness descends in the wings of the night.”
This line is from a poem written by a fellow high school student dabbling in poetry. It was published in our school paper. After so many years I still remember this particular verse, which even then intrigued me.
When does aloneness descend in the wings of the night?
He probably means whenever we go to bed for rest at the end of the day.
Our days are usually filled with many activities where we are with people: at work, at travel, at parties, in church, in our homes, etc.
According to Aristotle, man is by nature a social animal. He thrives in the company of his fellow humans. He longs to be in the company of his kind.
But one cannot always be surrounded by people. At the end of the day, one must leave them, go home and be alone. A priest, especially, finds himself alone when he goes back to his rectory after a busy day ministering to his parishioners.
When we finally retire and everybody else is asleep, we find ourselves alone, by ourselves, in our thoughts, in the stillness of the night.
But we are not really alone because in the very stillness of the night, God is there, whether we realize this or not. Better if we realize it. It will do us good.
Aloneness is not always undesirable. Sometimes, we seek solitude. At times we even get away from the hustle and bustle of daily existence and from the crowds, to be alone, to commune with this God of ours. We can do this in the privacy of our rooms, in the exclusive sanctuary of our minds, in the peaceful woods or solitary beaches, in the quiet of retreat houses, etc. This communion will fill the void in our hearts and calm our restlessness.
But there is an aloneness that we all will surely experience. It is the time that we must leave all, and part with the people we love. At that point, no one, even family, can physically go with us. We will be alone. And they will stay. And we will be in two different worlds.
But aloneness must not give us fear.
Someone is always with us. And that Someone is all that matters . . . and will matter. That Someone will be more than enough.
We must therefore rejoice. We must not fear.
Because aloneness cannot descend in the wings of the night.
Because we are never alone! #
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4