embracing emptiness

As I sit at my desk in the company of the beautiful view of downtown Dallas offered by my corner classroom, my stomach is growling and churning, reminding me of its emptiness.

I am so unaccustomed to actually FEELING the emptiness.  Accepting it as my companion, sitting with it and pondering it and going on with life as usual.  It’s counterintuitive when there’s cash in my wallet and countless restaurants within a five minute walk. 

I suppose that’s a part of the purpose of fasting.  Our culture is geared toward filling the emptiness.  Be it emptiness of time, space, or stomach, we fill it up so the emptiness is less apparent, less gnawing.  And yet, they don’t fill the emptiness.  Because it goes so much deeper than time, space, and stomach.  It’s so often emptiness of soul.  Emptiness of purpose.  Emptiness of life as it was intended.

So we eat, and drink, and hope to be merry.  We add apps to our phones that fill up the time.  We send emails and browse Facebook so we feel connected.  We read blogs and watch TV so our mind has somewhere to be.  We struggle to be okay with stillness and silence.  Because in that stillness and silence, there’s nowhere to hide from the emptiness.  That ache that says we’re disconnected from a Creator’s original intention.

I am disconnected from my Creator’s original intention.  I am so far from home, and I feel it often these days.  I’m slowly learning, in a three-steps-forward two-steps-back fashion, that the emptiness can be beautiful.  It reminds me that I long for something more.  It tells me that, even when my actions struggle to match my spirit, it is not within my soul to settle for filling myself with all that will not satisfy. 

So today, I’m working on feeling the emptiness and looking at it for what it is.  A sign of the life I was created for that still boils within me, melting any inclination I might have had toward being okay with a life less mine.  I forget often.  I may very well forget at some point today, and find myself back on the road to filling an infinite emptiness with finite things.

But He who started a good work in me will bring it to completion.

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