A Bright Sadness: Emptied and Hollow

Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow; 
you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

waterfall by Josh Scholten

I am often unprepared for the rush of challenges each clinic day brings.  Each call, each message, each tug on my arm, each box of kleenex handed over, each look of desperate hopelessness  —  I empty out continuously throughout the day to try to fill the gaping holes I see. 

If I’m down and dry, hollowed to the core with no more left to give, I pray for more than I could possibly deserve.

And so it pours over me, torrential and flooding, and I only have a mere cup to hold out for filling.  There is far more cascading grace than I can even conceive of, far more love descending than this cup of mine could ever hold, far more hope ascending from the mist and mystery of doctoring,  over and over again.

I am never left empty for long,  grateful for hallowed hollows.

3 thoughts on “A Bright Sadness: Emptied and Hollow

  1. That feeling of emptiness, hollowness, that you describe so personally and with such poignancy, is so familiar, Emily. Regardless of the length of time that one is
    trapped in this blinding vise of terror and, perhaps most fearful of all is that utterly helpless, hopeless and all-encompassing feeling of being ALONE. Even a feeling that our souls being temporarily mute and unavailable to us — like being in a sound-proof enclosure with no light, no escape. That, to me, is how I define ‘alone.’
    Having re-read your comments over and over, Emily, My mind was immediately brought to The Cross on that darkening afternoon on Golgotha as Jesus, in His accepted humanity, suspended between that ‘human’ life and His imminent painful ignoble death, cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have You FORSAKEN me?’
    (“Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?” (Mt 27:46b) (Psalm 22:2).

    Indeed! Jesus, the Son of God, soon to become the Christ of the Universe, feeling that most horrendous, that epitome of suffering — that of being abandoned, deserted)!

    By our priceless gift of Faith, however, we know that, eventually, our suffering will end – not forgotten by any means. The scars will remain within us as long as we live.
    Because: when we cry out to Him in our pain and aloneness, He will cover us with His shield of love, mercy, and total understanding. Because we belong to Him and we believe in His Promise that He will never leave us….

    Thank you, dear Emily, for your blessed Spirit-filled prescience. I needed your thoughts today.

    Liked by 1 person

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