In the midst of the tragedies of this past year, perhaps the greatest challenge was being forced to walk much of it alone. Many of us have faced illness and grief while physically separated from our friends and family, and isolation has not only amplified those challenges, but become a form of suffering itself.
And yet, in many ways, communities are built in times of great suffering. We’re emerging from the pandemic with a renewed sense of shared humanity. We’ve realized that we truly need one another, that time is fleeting, and that life is precious.
Is it possible that times of solitude can actually bring deeper understanding of ourselves, closer relationships with one another, and a more profound connection to God? We believe the answer is yes. As followers of Jesus, our experiences of isolation draw us closer to Christ, who chose to undergo the ultimate separation from his Heavenly Father in order that we might have the perfect relationship with himself and with others.
What might this mean for our experiences today? In this issue, our writers explore the hope of the Christian gospel for our solitude as both a product of pain and as an intentional practice of rest and restoration. We invite you to join us, and we hope that these reflections point to the lifegiving truth that we are never truly alone.
Grace Liu (‘21)
Andrew Warren (‘23)