Friday, 18 May 2007

... but emptied.

The answer is not to be found in the feeling of being filled.

It is not in the sensation of being full, nor in reaching that bursting point which is so well relieved by our emotional breakdown.
It is to be found in the utter constancy of the emptiness which underlies all feelings of being filled, of fullness, of bursting and overflowing, and of subduing into a featureless numbness.
Grief feels as though it would fill us with something; it feels that way.
As already said, we retain an inbuilt susceptibility to being influenced by our feelings, and an awareness of this susceptibility is one facet of our increasing maturity.
We feel grief, and we feel the mounting pressure: we feel as though filled, and, through the unbreakable ties of love, we are devastated by our loss and our sorrows. We are human: we are man-and-womankind; we are in this world, and, as long as we are tied to our physical lives we are necessarily still partially ‘of this world’. Held down by this (so to speak) physical handicap, we have no option, when in the grasp of grief, but to allow our feelings to rule us.
This physicality involves the cycle of birth, reproduction, nurture and love, and death, and whenever grief does not follow the slow-turning wheels of our existence, cutting through our futures instead, with a seemingly annihilating slash across every grain, then is that devastation utterly and completely beyond our comprehension. Until …

Until our awareness of a presence, and our steps of faith, have led us through and beyond the edges that may have frightened and stressed us in the past, and brought us to an island of rock: the rock upon which an inconceivable strength can be built.
We are carried into a trust that enables us to stand erect at the very edge.
We are poised at the brink of emptiness, without fear and without apprehension, and are infused with a distant yearning: with a reciprocal longing that would fill the void before us and within us. A quiet flow one unto the other begins.

Now we are able to recognize that throughout our turmoil and distress, the pressure within has been constant.
Within and without, the pressures now seem equalized, and regardless of what may come our way, we sense that if we move within, and welcome in, the pressure will remain the same – as though not even there.
Humanity, paradox, and the power of love, joyfully entwine within the temporary helplessness that is our grief.
With faith, that same grief may bring us to the hem of a newfound joy: a joy, the vaguest hints of which have played their part in bringing me to my own place at the very edge, with my need for soliloquy, for prayer, and above all for time alone with my God.

Grief fills us with emptiness.
We are never more vulnerable than when empty, and emptiness longs to be filled.
God fills the void as soon as it is formed, and from the very first instant is inextricably enmeshed in our grief.
Our natures make it impossible for us to realize this until we are able to sense the stability of the emptiness, but He waits for us: He gives us time.
The void cannot be filled by anything other than God, and it is only our rejection of Him that enables anything else to lodge within.

Grief fills us with emptiness: an emptiness filled by God; and thus our grief fills us with God’s presence.
He awaits our recognition, our acceptance, and our trust.
Our admission, in faith, that we do not understand all things, allows Him to fill us with His peace.
Ultimately, in time, and despite our continuing disbelief in such an apparently impossible idea, - grief fills us with God’s peace.

Let us pray that God’s peace may truly become known to all who mourn.

‘Let your generosity extend to all the living,
do not withhold it even from the dead.
Do not turn your back on those who weep,
but share the grief of the grief-stricken.’
(Ecclesiasticus 7:33-34 (Vulgate 37-38) )


About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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