• Clarice Aeby

The meaning of alone together


Photo: Dương Nhân from Pexels

“Alone Together.” I’d never heard the phrase before. But it’s now become part of my vocabulary. May I share how it came about?

My friend, Julie, designs our “Dare to Be Still” website and weekly takes my words for the “Sitting Still” blog adding the graphics that take a simple truth and often, for me, moves it into the ah-ha category.

A couple months ago she sent me a link to a website about a Quaker retreat she thought I might like -- meaning the website not the retreat. She was right. I did.

But I was also drawn to the retreat. A week with a group of people known for appreciating the quiet and stillness of being with God sounded like something right up my ally. So I went.

Twice a day we circled up around small portions of Scripture and simple songs with deep truths about God’s grace and love. The rest of the time was full of good food, walks to the edge of the wild, the winter Pacific ocean, and non-competitive Scrabble games. I especially loved the vulnerable talks with new friends.

One of those friends called the retreat a time of being “Alone Together.” I like that description.

Switching those words can be a sad and lonely time. Maybe you’ve experienced “together alone” with a loved one. Hoping for some heart-to-heart, instead you sat in the hollow of sad solitude. This week was altogether different than that.

It seems Jesus also liked those “alone together” times. After a full day of meeting people’s needs, sometimes He called on His friends to come away to a quiet place.

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to [his disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”

MARK 6:31-32

When I pause to imagine those amazing alone-togethers with Jesus, I think of the “Dare to Be Still” retreats the Lord has so graciously invited me to lead.

These two-day retreats begin and end with people nearby, sharing a meal, learning, and sharing our lives. They are the “together” that bookends our rich “alone” time.

I’d love you to come away with us May 2-3 in Florence for some “Alone Together” time. We have reserved a space for you at Driftwood Shores where you’ll have your own private room with a balcony view of the mighty Pacific.

You’ll learn some new ways to meet Jesus in the quiet and meet some new friends who are doing the same. Saturday and Sunday we’ll share lunch with each other. In the middle you’ll have rich, quiet, uninterrupted time with Jesus.

I believe you’ll come home with more peace or courage or hope. After decades of taking time alone with Jesus, I’ve never returned quite the same, and I’ve never been disappointed. I don’t think you will either.

In her book Permission to Ponder, Tracy Balzer encourages us to take a journey into “the embrace of God.” It requires us to step away and slow down.

Please consider joining me for this one -- and only -- “Dare to Be Still” retreat of 2020, and let’s experience the richness of being Alone Together.

Pull up a chair and sit still

Photo: Jake Colvin from Pexels

Can you imagine time alone with the One who loves you more than anyone else does? Time not interrupted by noise, or hurry, or work, or demands, or a schedule, or… you fill in the blank.

What might you do in the restful quiet of stillness? I hope you’ll consider coming with a group of like-minded sisters of faith for some amazing “Alone Together.”

Visit our Retreats page to learn more about “Dare to Be Still,” or click here to register directly. Our rooms are limited, so be sure to register SOON. And if you register by March 1, we'll have a lovely gift waiting for you at the retreat -- one more way to take a journey into the embrace of God.

Thanks for sitting still with me today.

Thanks for sitting still with me today.

Email me your thoughts or pop in to say "hi."  

I'd love to hear from you!

Visit the Retreats page for more information

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Dare to Be Still

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No individual receives financial benefit from our retreats.

Nor do we add any extra charge to provide scholarships.

Our only purpose is to offer you a time and a place to step away from the busy-ness of life and make space to hear God speak.

“Dare to Be Still" is a women’s ministry of New Hope Eugene in Oregon.

Any woman with a hunger to know Jesus Christ in a deeper way

is welcome to participate.

www.NewHopeEugene.com