Shrek wants to be alone. He has plans to build a wall around his swamp and keep all the other fairy tale creatures away. His life will be much easier then. No invasion by those who want to crowd his space and come with their torches and pitchforks and misunderstanding. But Donkey doesn’t want to be alone. He wants a friend, and is convinced that Shrek is the man, or the ogre, for the job. Both are lonely. Yet their responses to this state are different. Donkey wants to remedy the problem, Shrek wants to protect himself. I get that. Who doesn’t? Look up loneliness on Google and you find all kinds of quotes from folk who feel distant from others. Lonely is not being alone, but the feeling that no one cares… is one such quote. Mother Theresa is noted as saying Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. A surprising quote from a woman who lived her life amongst so much material poverty. Perhaps we all know the feeling that no one else really gets us. For myself I often feel more alone in a crowded room, than when I’m on my own. It somehow highlights my inability to connect with others. I’m probably Shrek in disguise. In the tale of Eden in Genesis 3, Eve and Adam invent a version of hide and seek. It’s not a game though, but a truly sad reality. They were once happy to be known completely, living in a state of trust and acceptance. But now things have gone awry, and they move into a different state, one that involves a lack of connection. That prolific scribbler Paul wrote about the way we see now through smudgy glasses, or a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13 v 12-13), our vision is blurred. He was talking about the things of God, but it’s probably true too of the way we see all of life. We are looking at one another through cracked, dusty, lonely lenses. The good news is that one day this will be remedied. But in the meantime, we pray for understanding, acceptance and welcome, in ourselves and others.