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Sometimes Inspire House Fellowships form when existing small groups are looking for a new lease of life. The leader of one such group joined in our House Fellowship mentoring cohort to learn how to do that (read more here). As the group has taken up the rhythm and practices of House Fellowship, they have found themselves going deeper with one another and with Jesus.  He sent us this testimony. 

A member of our House Fellowship asked my wife to read a poem after we’d been speaking about silence and solitude as a spiritual discipline. He had written this poem for himself, but felt that is was something that might help others too. 


Solitude, you have outstayed your welcome. 
The warm comfort you provided – 
a place to dream, plan imaginary conversations 
and explore the depths of knowledge, 
has become tainted with “what if”s and “why me”s. 
I fear the Black Dog is watching from afar. 
I need to move on.

Outside the world buzzes on as before. 
Silence is scorned, as is apathy and indecision. 
Everybody has an opinion and a duty to voice it, 
however trivial the subject or shaky the foundations. 
The unknowing collide with the misinformed, 
a breeding ground for dissatisfaction 
and home for purveyors of snake oil. 
An alien, I find no comfort here.

I retreat to the confines of the sanctuary. 
At least here my extended family feel they know me. 
Nonetheless, a sea of faces, only a few of which bear names and stories – 
most either forgotten or vague memories so blurred that I dare not trust them.
Conversation is stinted and always an effort, 
rarely venturing to small-talk, 
frequently squashed by background noises unnoticed by most. 
Few persist, others thinking me disinterested, quiet or just “strange”. 
Pressure in my head rises with tiredness, it is time to leave.

Solitude, my friend. I have missed you!


“The story behind it is that since my first schooldays I have been the “odd one out”, never managing to fit in. Work life was no better, but I managed to navigate my way from job to job (to job, to job…) wondering why I never seemed to settle in anywhere. Often there would be things (openly) going on to which I was oblivious, but as a rule I was able to keep my spirits up and battle on wondering why all this was happening to me.

This changed about five years ago when I landed a job which, I didn’t realise at the time, was totally unsuited to my abilities. I battled very hard to make a success of the job but my failure was compounded by an inconsiderate and somewhat arrogant boss. I left that job with anxiety and depression, narrowly avoiding a breakdown.

A short while later I started work as a Care Assistant for an Autism Charity, looking after people with varying degrees of Autism. One of my colleagues was diagnosed with ASD (Asperger’s Syndrome)  and following several long conversations with him I realised, at the age of 58, that I too have ASD, and this explains many of the troubles I have experienced throughout my life. I have not had the condition formally diagnosed, I don’t see the need, but at least now I understand and can make life a bit easier on myself. I’m not back to where I was five years ago – I never will be, but I’m heading in the right direction.

I wrote the poem on one of my more bored days, as much for myself as anything. It was only when I finished it that I thought it might help others, so I shared it on social media. I’m not seeking any recognition, hence why I prefer to share it anonymously.”

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