When we enter into solitude to be with God alone, we quickly discover how dependent we are. Without the many distractions of our daily lives, we feel anxious and tense. When nobody speaks to us, calls on us, or needs our help, we start feeling like nobodies. Then we begin wondering whether we are useful, valuable, and significant. Our tendency is to leave this fearful solitude quickly and get busy again to reassure ourselves that we are “somebodies.” But that is a temptation, because what makes us somebodies is not other people's responses to us but God's eternal love for us.
To claim the truth of ourselves we have to cling to our God in solitude as to the One who makes us who we are.
Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey
I don’t think we are ever who we think we are. We have to have an illusion of competence, of maturity, of toughness, in order to resist what feels to us to be uncontrollable incursions from a hostile, unpredictable world. The only time we can let down our guard, the only time we can allow ourselves to be who we truly are, is in solitude. God is still the God who revealed himself to David as
…gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made…
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
(Psalm 145.8-9;17-18 NIV)
God is the God who is Christ, in whom all the fullness of his being dwells (Colossians 1.19). In his wounds our woundedness at last finds peace; at the foot of his Cross is our home.