I’m trying to embrace this season of relative stillness. Waiting and listening to distance and closed doors and silence.
I’m not always succeeding.
All I want to do is shout sounds into the emptiness. I want to fill it with festive music and colorful lights from vintage bulbs. I want to tell it stories and make it laugh and create something – anything – to make it feel less like empty.
I want the space to mean something.
I want to dress it up in philosophy and explain it with theology. I want to describe it in retrospect – tell the story from the other side of it. Revel in the fruit that grew from it. Enjoy the promise that manifested in it.
I want to invite people into the space and host conversations within it – about it, or about anything at all really. And when it’s nice and full of people, I’ll slip quietly out the side door to gain space from the space I’ve filled up.
No, clearly that won’t work.
It’s just that it hurts – this distance between what I knew and what I know now. There is a gap between my hope and my true home.
The emptiness isn’t filled with pain. It isn’t filled with anything. But its existence causes my heart to ache, because I know that it is necessary. I have to hold the space in all of its discomfort. I’ve been asked to.
Because, this space is obedience.
It is room to consider the inconceivable. It is space for the Lord to speak (though He, too, honors the space and doesn’t fill it). It is emptying out what I’ve used to numb out in order to allow the truth to mature a bit. It is pushing aside what I so desperately want for the possibility of what I most desperately need.
The space is holy, I think.
I’ll let you know in time, if it becomes clear. It feels like restlessness and impatience, but I think it’s sacred, too. I think eventually there will be freedom in it. Or, maybe more accurately, I’ll discover the freedom that comes with learning to be comfortable with space and emptiness and distance.
Not in a way that is disconnected, but in a way that makes real connection (with God, with myself, with others) possible.