Wednesday I sat down to knit and the emptiness that had dogged me all day came over me. I tried to accept the Void as gift, reminding myself that hunger anticipates satisfaction. I was partly successful, but not completely. Part of me wanted to squelch the emptiness at all costs, was willing to use an act of violence to suppress it, wanted to blame someone, anyone…It is painful to feel powerless, to feel that I am acted upon, rather than an actor, but sometimes the Void just sweeps me clean and there is nothing I can do except sit on my hands and wait it out. Very few people stopped by to distract me from the gnawing inside which made it even worse.
That said, I’m starting to fear the void less, to see it as a gift at least some of the time…I desired a loveseat, and a loveseat appeared. Then people invited themselves over to fill my loveseat. I wanted cactuses for my apartment, and a strange old man on the elevator offered to bring some by. Acceptance of a divine timeframe–I’m hungry NOW and I’m okay. Refusal to take matters into my own hands (addiction). To weep, to hunger, to fail, to be hated and poor is to create a vacuum for grace to erupt like a geyser exploding from a cleft in the rock of my heart. Nature abhors a vacuum…no sooner does a clearing appear after a forest fire, then wildflowers spring up to cover the barrenness. Can I trust this principle in my life, in my friends’ lives, in the world? So much suffering, so many voids:
unemployment, betrayal, loss, longing, unmet desires, sorrow, depression, abuse, debt, injustice, anxiety, loneliness, failure, disappointment, illness…
Yesterday, I awoke from a nap to Love sweeping through my veins like a flashflood in the desert…grace! Apart from the operation of grace in my life, I’d be ready to drink my Kool Aid and rest in peace. But I know for a fact that grace happens–
My friend who was raped, now happily married
My roommate who was labeled infertile, mother of two babies
Brother who was addicted to heavy porn and psychedelics has found peace and freedom, and hopes to teach Math to highschoolers
I get giddy thinking about grace because these wounds, these voids, these aches are all potential sites for the impossible to happen–and it is happening.
Stumbled upon this recently:
“Grace fills empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.”
“To accept a void in ourselves is supernatural.”
“To detach our desire from all good things and to wait. Experience proves that this waiting is satisfied. It is then we touch the absolute good.”
“Always, beyond the particular object whatever it may be, we have to fix our will on the void–to will the void. For the good which we can neither picture nor define is a void for us. But this void is fuller than all fullnesses.”
“The good seems to us as a nothingness, since there is no thing that is good. But this nothingness is not unreal. Compared with it, everything in existence is unreal.”
from “Gravity and Grace” by Simone Weil
Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.” – Jesus