There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike the ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind – wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.

Beloved by Toni Morrison 1987

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

When you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God,

The holy one of Israel, your saviour.

Isaiah 43: 2 – 3a

Holy Lord, in loneliness, in fear, in the places where we feel we may not be able to persevere, meet us , and visit us with your Salvation.

From The Courage to See Garret and Fountain 2019.  Westminster John Knox press.