The fear of being all alone is, of all fears the greatest. It starts soon after birth with the separation anxiety babies have when separated from their mothers. It moves on to the terror felt by children when they get separated from their parents in a shopping centre. It reveals itself again in the grief felt by those who have lost a spouse through death or separation. Throughout life it’s a fear that’s always just below the surface and reveals itself in a persistent yet inexplicable sense of unease that we learn to live with, and hope will never happen. It is this that makes today’s reading so precious.