Monday, August 2, 2010
It is not good to be alone.
Excerpt from “Street Wisdom” Albert Holtz, OSB
Leaning over the banister, I glance down at the dark sidewalk under the Jackson Street Bridge. Just the usual collection of empty wine bottles and fast food containers, an old sofa and a few scraps of carpet. This is a corner of the mysterious world of the shadow people. I call them that because I hardly ever lay eyes on them. I just see the traces they leave all over the city: a cardboard refrigerator-carton shelter under the steps where Raymond Boulevard passes under King, or the food scraps and filthy rags scattered in the grimy darkness along Edison Place where it cuts under Penn Station.
Now and then I pass a shadow person lying hidden under some sheets of newspaper along the sidewalk somewhere, and wonder what it must feel like to have no one who knows you or cares about you, no one who consoles you or challenges you, no one you can count on. You’re on your own, all-alone in a shadow world, hidden from everyone else’s gaze, and disconnected from the rest of humanity
In the Book of Genesis God decides that it is not good for Adam to be alone. Adam is sharing the joys of the garden with Eve, and both are chatting easily and openly with God. Paradise is a delight for all three of them because of their connectedness and closeness.
Human beings are, after all, made in the image of a God who is Love itself: a trinity of divine persons united in eternal, joyful mutual self-giving. Relatedness is at the core of who we are. It’s not good for us to be alone.