Monday, March 16, 2009

Empty or not at this moment


Reading and responding to the Lenten lectionary lessons posted by Lisa at Eghersis this past week, one of her posts prompted me to reflection on an "empty vessel" and what lesson that reflection can be for me this week.

My logic for the "empty vessel" immediately translated the vessel to be my soul, to be my own unique self and if empty where does that emptiness place me? On the shelf, in the cupboard behind closed doors, in the dark, alone, sad, dark, deserted, worthless, not of use for much of anything? Why am I empty - on purpose, my own choosing, being rejected, I don't measure up to the needs of the day - perhaps I've lost my faith?

Those descriptive words sound pretty dark to me on this very grey rainy, windy day....in Lent! Except that I'm not feeling that way personally at this point, at this day, at this moment in my life, so it is relatively easy for me to turn all of those negatives around. Example - I've been placed or singled out for THE special task that my soul will accept willingly. I'm not alone or sad or deserted or worthless rather being saved for the special task, I am not forgotten, I am precious, etc., etc., etc.

But turning the empty into full and the darkness into light is not something that I believe I can take lightly just because I have the ability to conjure up those words at this given moment. The reflection on an "empty vessel" may be a call to me to remember that my fullness may need to be spilled over into another vessel's space in order for that vessel to feel needed, to actually be needed. My fullness is not for boasting, my fullness is for sharing. My fullness is for opening doors and bringing others in to a light and safe destination. My fullness is to the glory of that which makes me rich with thanksgiving this day. My fullness is to remind me that I, too, have those days of emptiness, waiting for another's response not to necessarily fill me up but to show me that there is a "filling station" easily accessed.

I pray that the reality of these words I've just said will go with me this week and that I will find the empty vessel that may only need a sip to be full, may need every drop I can spare to be full, but remembering that my emptying is not a loss for me - I only have to remember where the filling station, the faucet, the font is located. There's enough there to fill all of the empty vessels that I can imagine. Today, I'm just grateful that, at this moment, I have the ability to look at my faith logically and clearly, remembering that some days in some ways my vessel may be less than full, less than logical, and less than overflowing, in fact right down empty!

4 comments:

  1. There is a kind of emptiness called 'kenosis', which is something like the emptying of heart, mind an soul of all the accumulated ego driven junk in order to make greater room for God's presence.
    CP

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  2. Ah yes, emptying ourselves out to be filled! I like how you phrase it as a "fullness to be shared," extending us beyond ourselves...

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  3. Many thanks, Sunrise Sister. Reading your words, I found myself thinking of the quote (ascribed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth, but I've also seen a similar quote attributed to Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor), “I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.” In these Lenten days and beyond, may you be filled and emptied in all the ways you need. And keep scratching! Thank you for your words.

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  4. SEE! Some very great and most proper ladies think it's OK to scratch where it itches.
    CP

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