Skip to main content

soul refrigerator

I went grocery shopping yesterday and came home with three bags of food. After I unpacked them all, this is what my fridge looked like: really empty. How does that happen? How can I feel so full and ready for any food emergency one moment, and after one quick glance, realise that I have nothing, really?

Today is one of those days in my soul as well. I woke up with gratitude and fullness in my heart, ready to take on this day and all the wonderful opportunities that it presented. Then I caught a brief glance of some emptiness in my life and bam - my buoyancy was compromised. For the past few hours I have been treading water, trying to keep my head in a positive space, bobbing in and out of disappointment, and catching myself whining with pathetic indignity at the cement blocks of other people's stupidity that are tangled around my ankles. When I am staring at the empty refrigerator of my soul, these are my thoughts.

Where do I go from here? Perhaps I should slam that refrigerator shut and never think about its cavernous, aching holes again. Perhaps I should run off to the local convenience store where I can find a lot of beer, ice cream, and pizza to stuff in it. That should stave off the emptiness for awhile. Perhaps I will turn my attention to the food cupboard instead, which is stocked with familiar canned goods and crackers - nothing fresh, but long shelf life has its advantages. Or perhaps, just perhaps, I should open the fridge and sit with it awhile until the emptiness doesn't scare me anymore. I could look around and find out what's really in there, in those drawers that I never seem to open a lot, and on those condiment shelves that go untouched for weeks. I might be surprised at what I find: some things past their expiry dates will need to be tossed, but hey, I had more orange juice than I thought. Maybe I could use this opportunity when it is not laden with fruit to give it a good cleaning. Maybe I could write a list of yummy fresh foods that I really want in my life and make a point of finding out where these can be found.

I am discovering that developing into a mature and solid person means taking times to sit with my pain, my emptiness, and my disappointments. If I don't expose them to the air and give them some time, like all wounds, they will fester and gangrinate instead of heal. It is a discipline of love to sit with someone and let them pour out their soul in a cathartic cleanse, so why can't I have the patience to do the same with myself?

Come, soul, don't be downcast. You are not alone. Invite Jesus to sit here with you and then face the void. Let the anger, the stabbing pain, the dull ache, the wounds of neglect and rejection start to seep out. Let the dullness deflate and crumble; a soft and willing heart is irresistible. Let the hidden fears and scummy lies bubble to the surface and be skimmed off. Come, soul, don't rush away. Come. Sit. Look. Seep. Be made clean so that you can be filled with all things fresh and delicious.

Comments

Anonymous said…
That's how my fridge looks most of the time too! So empty there's an echo in there!

RBT

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …