Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Empty Spaces

By Jeannette Doran
There is a longing in the human heart that only God can fill. Yes, we often spend time and energy trying to fill this space with things other than God, which cannot satisfy. This can take us time traveling through dark places, clouded with sadness, to learn that our hearts were made for God alone and only in God will one find a lasting joy beyond understanding.

       I find a certain beauty in empty spaces, in simplicity of design, such as in the clean lines in architecture and furniture and in the beauty in a Japanese floral arrangement of three flowers, where less is often better than more. As my eyes look over the December fields, I find a resting place in this vast stretch of land in the loveliness of the empty field clothed in white snow.

        Advent speaks to me of empty hearts waiting for the coming of God. It’s a quiet time of longing and desire for God alone; a time to let go of all the clutter and the whatnot that does not fill us or bring joy. Days, when we learn to seek God in the empty spaces and moments of our daily life. This time prepares one to attentively watch and wait in silence for the quiet coming of God into our empty heart.

     God’s presence will be found by the seeking heart. The heart that understands God hides in the moments of our day. We find God in the grace of the moment as we continue to look and seek in faith.  All of our advent days can be focused on seeing God in these moments with new eyes of faith.

    When the soul enters into a deep stillness, God’s image is imprinted in the innermost center. Just as the sun is reflected on the pure white snow, deep within our souls we are called to reflect the image of God. As when the sun shines on still waters a mirror is created of the sun, so when our soul rests in stillness, God enters undisturbed. As Wisdom tells us “When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt Your all-powerful Word.” (18:15).  When any annoyance is allowed to penetrate one’s being, the soul’s experience of God is obscured. The psalmist invites us ‘to be still’ so that we will behold God. We see in the natural world that a pure crystal pool of water will mirror the beauty around it only in stillness. If even a tiny pebble drops into the water, the ripples will hinder this image from appearing.

        In the human soul, when any commotion is allowed to enter the center of our being, the face of God is covered and one will not know God’s presence. Our God dwells in peace. When we allow negative thoughts to linger in our minds we cloud the image of God in our hearts. God’s image is formed in the depths of our being in profound stillness. “Be still and know that I am God”, Psalm 46 invites us.

        In the empty spaces of our day, of our lives we can search for and cultivate intimacy with our God, Who is always with us present in our inner being. When our days become too crowded, it is time to take a moment to look at our inner desires, our longings. What am I really seeking? What will bring me inner quiet and peace?

        Advent is a time for seeking and waiting for God to be birthed in our inner being. Only God present in our lives can bring us the true joy of Christmas. May we each learn to deepen our search for intimacy with the God of our desires and be clothed with the joy God so longs to fill us with this Christmas and always.

No comments:

Post a Comment