Emptiness Is Not Empty

“Without a coming there can be no leaving; and without a presence, absence is only emptiness. There is a ministry in which our leaving creates a space for God’s spirit and in which, by our absence, God can become present in a new way. The great mystery of the divine revelation is that God entered into intimacy with us not only by Christ’s coming, but also by his leaving. Indeed, it is in Christ’s absence that our intimacy with him is so profound that we can say he dwells in us, call him our food and drink and experience him as the center of our being” – Henri Nouwen 

I was struck by the profundity of this passage as I read this in group worship earlier this week, and it instantly came to mind when I was informed in the early hours of this morning of my grandfather’s passing. The language Nouwen chooses vividly reminds us that we cannot create space for something new without re-moving something else. It is often in that time where we feel loss that we can find the grace and presence of Spirit. Creation or order is not followed by disorder but by re-order or re-creation. One of the mysteries I often reflect on is that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Even when we struggle to understand or accept the presence of Spirit in our lives—in our being, we are nonetheless changed by its encounter. May my grandfather’s passing teach me something new, and may he be remembered and loved, forever. +

5 thoughts on “Emptiness Is Not Empty

  1. I didn’t know your grandfather, but judging by his grandson he must have been a special man. Wishing you and your family well as you enter this new relationship with him.

  2. Will,
    A very thoughtful, spiritual, and insightful piece, as always. You are an inspiration, even in your time of sorrow.
    Blessings and Prayers

  3. Oh, yeah. So true! When I sit out back on the gazebo, I have to remove mySELF before God can move in. Love, love, love.

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