God’s Grace and Peace to you!
I have been thinking a lot about emptiness. One of the reasons I like to walk at Dale Cemetery is because there is no traffic. It is a place empty of traffic. When I first started walking there the whole area felt empty. Most of the time there were two or three other walkers but with all the paths we could go quite a ways without our paths crossing. It felt empty. Even with the centuries worth of grave markers that hillside felt empty.
As I walk there more and more, I experience more and more life. There is always nature, the birds, squirrels and a few deer this time of the year. But I have also learned to see other signs of life among the gravesites. I have seen so many people stop by to bring flowers, real and artificial, to decorate the places their loved ones are buried. There is a lot of care and love living there. I have often seen folks just come and visit and sit by the gravesites; who knows what words escape from their lips or what thoughts run through their minds there. There seems to be a presence of life, of love and sometimes of wisdom in what looks like emptiness.
Part of what we have read in our Monday night study as we learn to enjoy the Sabbath is that there needs to be an “emptiness” within us in order for God to fill us. Somehow we need to make room for God by doing a little emptying of self.
In our communion liturgy, the Greek word that we translate as “poured out” can also mean “emptied.” Jesus “poured out” his blood for us; Jesus “emptied” himself for us. In emptying himself, Jesus made room for us – room for us to enter into a relationship with God through his emptiness.
It all makes me wonder how much life we really miss because we do not look closely enough at what seems empty. Maybe we could stop trying to fill so much; empty a little and see how God might want to fill us.