Crazy as it may sound, I’ve learned that both solitude and loneliness can be good.
In the silence of being alone, the emptiness echoes a truth we don’t hear when we have people to turn to and the static of busyness to overpower the noise inside.
It’s the truth that our souls are utterly alone before God.
(“That’s good?” you might say. Bear with me; I promise it gets cheerier. 😉 )
Unfortunately, this truth is often observed in the negative. With thoughts like:
- everyone will fail me
- no one can be relied on
- no one understands my heart of hearts
With focus like that, it’s little wonder we avoid solitude. No wonder we fill our emptiness with fast fixes.
As an introvert, I’m pretty expert in differentiating loneliness and solitude. I’m also naturally melancholy, so I too have observed the concept negatively. (At certain seasons, I’ve been known to feed on the points above like a daily medication.)
But, believe it or not, I’ve also seen the positive.
Heard it, to be precise.
I like to fiddle with composing, often creating a verse or chorus on a whim. (And, oddly enough, only when I’m alone. My genre is FMEO: for my ears only.) It’s like an audible type of writing for me, expressing the words I can’t always find. Sometimes, because I’m also a dreamer and think one day I’ll write a whole song—fancy that!—I record the tunes that particularly stand out. I’ve done this for years, and a while ago, I finally weeded through my recordings. Most were automatic discards. But some actually surprised me. Several times I looked at the date of the recording and wondered what I’d been going through to write that particular melody.
Not long later, at a time when I was experiencing the whole “My soul is utterly alone in this world” feeling and had no piano to turn to, I sensed God directing my thoughts to the counter side of those thoughts. So I turned the facts around to sound like:
- While everyone else will fail me, He never will.
- When no one else can be relied on, He can.
- When no one understands my heart of hearts…
Wait… That’s when I felt Him say:
“I have heard the melody of your soul.”
I paused, stunned, as if someone had raised the lights, revealing an audience. An audience who understood the meaning behind every note.
He had heard all the discord, the soaring phrases, the minor chords. The ugliness and potential. The hope and the fear. The sin and salvation.
And He called it a melody.
Even in my solitude that day and the loneliness of that season, I felt noticed. To an introvert, that is the best and worst feeling: to be seen where you are, for who you are.
But I was glad. And grateful.
Because it means this soul is not alone. Never has been, never will be.
He hears the melody of your soul too. You might be playing solo, but you’re not alone in your performance.