Learning from My Emptiness

What can I learn when I am in a state of neediness and desolation?

Nature abhors a vacuum. Whenever there is a vacuum, nature tends to fill it with just about anything to remove the emptiness. Often, I try to fill in that emptiness with vacuous busy-ness. Sometimes in panic, I would fill in that emptiness with feelings of anger, regrets, selfishness and self-pity.

Grace, on the other hand, welcomes a vacuum. Grace allows that emptiness to be filled with the divine and the sacred. In that emptiness, I make space and time for God to come into my life. For amidst the hustle and bustle of daily living, I forget to feel and fail to see the presence of God in my here and now.

One of the scandals of our times today is the continuing poverty and neediness among billions of people, even if we now have the resources and the means to vanish poverty forever. There is material emptiness in many lives. But poverty by choice can sometimes be a grace-filled moment. It can be a liberating experience. By emptying myself of things I do not really need, I free these for others to use. I can do away with the latest gadgets, a flashy car and fancy clothes. I love the adage: “Live simply so that others may simply live,”

“Lord, teach me your ways so that I may live simply and humbly and encounter your presence in that sacred emptiness.”

Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan.
Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom,
he again taught them.
Mark 10:1-2

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