Tag: empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again.

It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28.

These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this where I should be?

I know we follow a Savior who emptied himself out but we are not him. We need a constant filling. So we gather in an office or take a walk in the bright sunshine. We pull close to another who understands this pain and we ask together if we can handle death’s sting.

Maybe this is the cross Jesus said we needed to carry.

We look for endless blessings and joy, the kind that doesn’t hurt, the kind that keeps us bubbling over. Somehow we have this notion that this is the life of following Jesus. It’s not. It may be a glimpse of heaven but on earth it’s fleeting.

That wasn’t the end of sorrow for me this week. More would come, Family would face unexpected life threatening illness and a mom would wonder how much more. It would continue to feel like a week of trials and questions we’re afraid to say out loud.

It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. Resurrection Sunday is coming and we will proclaim:

He is risen.
HE IS RISEN INDEED

But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new;
    a servant in form
    and a man indeed.
The very likeness of humanity,
He humbled Himself,
    obedient to death—
    a merciless death on the cross!
So God raised Him up to the highest place
    and gave Him the name above all.

Philippians 2:7-9 VOICE

faith Five-Minute Friday hope recovery

Whoever thought hope could float on the foaming fizz of root beer? A styrofoam cup filled with vanilla ice cream and a can of Dr. Brown’s Root Beer. It was so simple, said Corbin. Here we were scooping up servings of hope that tasted like more.

Aaron waited till the end to get a second portion. Just the ice cream for him. This isn’t his first taste of hope. He’s been here a few times and had his share of portions only to run out and I’m not sure exactly how one runs out of hope but it happens. It must or why would they come back empty?

chalkboard sign

He was sitting in the outer room waiting for his paperwork to be processed. He didn’t see me come from behind but he felt my arms wrap around his shoulders and his head dropped. Some have said this is the hard part. The bottom. He left full of hope and promise, ready, feeling healthy and healed but…here he sat, again, at least 40 pounds less of him, his jeans staying up by some kind of magic of the will.

ice cream

Root Beer Floats cropped

Maybe he didn’t run out of hope. Maybe we were his last hope. We are good at trying to do it all ourselves as long as we can. Fix it. Mend it. Numb it. Deny it. When all of our do-it-yourself plans haven’t worked we give up. Maybe giving up is where hope begins.

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
 and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
 out of the mud and the mire (out of addiction, self-pity, depression, pride, loneliness). 
He set my feet on solid ground
 (gave me another chance) and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing (and a root beer float),
 a hymn of praise to our God.
 Many will see what he has done and be amazed (at the change in me).
  They will put their trust (and hope) in the Lord.” Psalm 40, with paraphrase

faith hope recovery Salvation Army