The heart’s an empty vessel, hollow walls that are open and wanting, waiting to be filled. The condition of being human carries with it many symptoms, and this hole in the heart is one. The feeling that you are the only one with this empty space inside, the assumption that everyone else has this space filled and this problem fixed is another. We all are walking around, with outer husk preened and perfected, pretending to be whole, protecting the secret of the empty space inside.
Did God forget to fill it? Why this open space, this secret longing that won’t be silenced?
We try to fill the void with what the world has to offer. We search for the answers, we look to philosophy, we fill it with hours of experts talking on TV. We take the empty space to the mall, let it window shop, fill it with the credit card. We mistake its longing for boredom, and we try to fill the empty space with business. We confuse the ache of openness for hunger, and we seek the cure in the refrigerator. We think the hole is due to poverty and we try to fill with our bank account. We label the emptiness with a sickness and medicate it with alcohol, with drugs, with anti-depressants. We assume the space is a need for self-actualization, we try to fill it with accomplishments, praise, perfection. We fill it with sin, with secrets, with gossip. We feel the guilt of this and try again to fill the hole with good works. We fill it and fill it and fill it and wonder, daily, why it isn’t full.
C.S. Lewis said “Emptiness is at the center of my being” and I feel that, feel the pull and the draw and the vacuum that nature abhors. Oh, it is our nature to hate the empty spaces and long for fullness. But God is in the spaces in between, and the thing that makes music something more than noise is the places between the notes, the rests and pauses that bring order out of chaos. This space is not an accident, this hole is not a defect.
The hole is God-shaped and God-given, the hole is meant to be God-filled and we can’t consume enough of anything else to dull the ache, to still the hunger. The empty space in the human heart was created to hold the Creator and everything else is too small to fit, everything else is just more emptiness.
If the struggle has been long, if the path has been twisted, if the ache has broken you again and again, lay it down. Each of us carries this with us always, this broken heart, this empty space. Lay it down at the feet of the One who can fill it, the One who waits for you to ask for Him to fill you. You don’t have to be good, you don’t have to have it figured out, you don’t have to know or understand anything more than this: God fits in the God-shaped hole and everything else…sin or sanctuary, lust or control or wealth or religion…will fail you, will spill though and will not last and will leave you wanting. Fill it with the One Thing that can fit.