I suppose that loneliness and the spiritual discipline of solitude are certainly apropos subjects for many of us on Valentine’s Day. But that’s not really the point of this post. Over on the Emerging Scholars Blog Michael Hickerson has written a great first post in a series on Henri Nouwen and the vital spiritual practice of solitude.
Life in academia, whether as a grad student or as faculty (or as a campus minister, for that matter) can be quite lonely. Research, writing, studying, and even teaching and participating in seminars can be intensely isolating. For this reason, InterVarsity works hard to build authentic caring communities for students and faculty. But the truth is, as Nouwen and Hickerson point out, community is only part of the solution to loneliness. Learning to be alone with God–learning how to be alone well–is just as important.