Our wilderness is an inner isolation. It's a sense of being alone―boringly alone, or saddeningly alone, or terrifyingly alone...
Harry Williams, who died it 2006, was an Anglican priest and, later, monk who served as Fellow and Dean of Chapel at Trinity College, Cambridge. He wrote the above in his book The True Wilderness published in 1965.
In the 60s and 70s he was described as somewhat of a cult figure for his very personal accounts of his Christian faith. In his obituary in the Telegraph, it is described why he was able to write so intimately:
Following a breakdown, not long after his appointment to Trinity, he underwent long-term psychoanalysis. The combination of anguish, insights received through analysis, and an acute theological mind produced a deeply personal interpretation of the Christian message which many found illuminating and helpful, though others regarded him as a menace.
These current days of COVID-19 may be relatively comfortable for some, those with sufficient support networks around them. But for many others this is a very difficult time. BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day a few weeks back was a sharing by Hannah Malcolm, a trainee priest, who shared about the real difficulties she is facing during this lockdown.
These are not easy times. These words, written by Harry Williams many years ago, seem so particularly apt for this difficult time:
The sense of being isolated and therefore unequipped is a necessary part, or a necessary stage, of our experience as human beings. It therefore found a place in the life of Jesus, he too did time in the wilderness. And what happened to him there shows us what is happening to ourselves. Here, as always, we see in his life the meaning of our own.
A Prayer of S. Augustine:
Watch, dear Lord,
with those who cannot sleep
and those who weep this night.
Tend the sick,
give rest to the weary,
and bless the dying.
Relieve those who are suffering,
have pity on those in great distress,
and shield those who are happy.
 'Father Harry Willams', Telegraph (03 February 2006)
 H. A. Williams quoted in 'Fish, chips, mushy peas and two slices of bread and butter (Sue Brecknell) in Son of God, Son of Man (2000)
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.