Henri Nouwen on Emptiness

It seemed appropriate, somehow, when this mediation from Henri Nouwen appeared in my email inbox yesterday, that it make it’s way into this space, especially given the way I am wrestling with the hard space of unknowing, and being in-between these days.  It fits, too, with “Honor”, my word for 2013, and my commitment to honor this journey that God seems to be leading me on.  Nouwen writes:

Letting Go of Our Fear of God

We are afraid of emptiness. Spinoza speaks about our “horror vacui,” our horrendous fear of vacancy. We like to occupy-fill up-every empty time and space. We want to be occupied. And if we are not occupied we easily become preoccupied; that is, we fill the empty spaces before we have even reached them. We fill them with our worries, saying, “But what if …”

It is very hard to allow emptiness to exist in our lives. Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected happen. It requires trust, surrender, and openness to guidance. God wants to dwell in our emptiness. But as long as we are afraid of God and God’s actions in our lives, it is unlikely that we will offer our emptiness to God. Let’s pray that we can let go of our fear of God and embrace God as the source of all love.

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