Word of the Week

When is the last time you felt overwhelmed? Unable to give something your all? Stressed?

Such feelings often mean our tanks are on empty-- this week's word. I like this definition of empty: having none of the usual or appropriate contents.

In the last several weeks, I imagine you've been overwhelmed by the state of the world especially as it relates to what has gone on and continues to go on in Ukraine.

You might have thought how can such horror and tragedy of bombs go on while you sit at home enjoying beautiful spring-like days? You might have thought about how our brothers and sisters are senselessly suffering, and yet where is God? You might have thought more about your citizenship in a global family every time you've seen your gas bill go up and up -- wondering what you can do to help?

These questions lead to a pit in your stomach, empty feeling. When will all of this get better? How will it get better?

It's so easy for worry to set in, no matter if we are thinking about big problems like those in Ukraine or those heavy things close to our homes and hearts.

In response, you can go and go and make yourselves crazy. You could tune out all the noise and just pretend nothing is wrong. Or somewhere in between. Emptiness is maddening like this.

Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest and spirituality teacher, in the book Inner Voice of Love speaks to how we might have a different perspective and see our emptiness as a gift.

“Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected happen.”

I loved what Nowuen offers here because he goes on to remind us that: “God wants to dwell in our emptiness.”

In all of the big and small problems of this world and in your life, this truth emerges: you are not in control. That is a given.

BUT your emptiness doesn't have to be a negative! Letting go of what is not makes room for what is and what could be.

Beauty can fill up your empty parts when you don't hide from them. Beauty can come to our broken world when we remember we're all in this together. Beauty can come to our empty places when we keep going. Let's keep moving together and see how our "empty" tanks might just be filled this week.

Know I'm on the journey with you!



P.S. This story about the kindness of Polish mothers toward the empty hearts of Ukrainian refugees really touched me. Read it here.