Living in the midst of busyness, sometimes--even many times, makes us just like a mechanic human. That is to say, we do our work, our job, our program, without any pauses to reflect on our inner being deeply. Perhaps for pastor, time is not money, yet it is work. However, Henri Nouwen in Reaching Out reminds the readers, including the pastor, that solitude is one of important spiritual disciplines. It does not matter how busy we are but we need this spiritual discipline.
Speaking about solitude, I am quite interested on what he explains due to the solidarity in pain. One sentence that I should bear in mind is, “Those who do not run away from our pains but touch them with compassion bring healing and new strength.” It is not a movement of a growing withdrawal from, but rather a movement toward, a deeper engagement in the burning issues of our time. I realize that doing the discipline in the midst of my busyness of the previous ministry is almost like doing a “mission impossible”; yet it’s still possible.
However, I know that meditating on the pain of others will make me become more “down to earth”. In the sense that I will understand and also “experience” one’s pain. Once I meditated on the pain of the people in Sudan. That country is extremely poor. I saw photos of their bodies that show the unspoken pain. Those photos have talked to me very much. I never forgotten their pain and I kept the photos in my notebook. Whenever I looked those photos, I felt that they are my brothers and sisters. Their pain is also mine. I hope and pray that I am able to continue this sort of solitude, the time to engage with one’s pain in order that I may bring healing and new strength at least to my nearest community.