I remember my first experience of feeling empty and alone in a crowd. It was a Saturday night on Singapore’s east coast. In a gathering of high school students, enjoying the journey of coming to age, I stood on the edge of the crowd and remarked to a friend standing by, “I feel totally alone.” The feeling of emptiness was overwhelming.
The feeling repeats, usually in a sacred space without people. As I think of the church filled with believers, I see myself as the last on a tour to leave the space. I turned, thinking then and now of how the scene often reflects the emptiness when I turn towards the Divine. The idea of prayers rising as sweet incense fades in the deafening silence of an empty room.
To myself, and anyone else who might hear these words, let me offer the following.
My response to a child is not determined by numbers. My love is without end. My statements would be the same if there was only one or I was blessed with more than two. I see a separate well within me that is reserved to hold the love I have for each. In the extended family that I am part of, there are four wells of unending love. Divinity’s response to me is all this and more.
My willingness to defend a child is not determined by what s/he has or is doing. My actions start with our relationship. Everything follows is because of this. As I recognise this, I see Divinity differently. In moments of emptiness, I hear Paul’s reminder; “Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.” (Romans 8.34)I see my love as Divinity’s echo. I understand my emptiness as a longing and a thirst. Today is an opportunity to accept the Divine offer to embrace and experience. I can permission Divinity to live within and fill the emptiness.