“There is a God shaped vacuum (void) in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”- Blaise Pascal
Void (noun): 1.an empty space; emptiness. 2.something experienced as a loss or privation: His death left a great void in her life. 3. a gap or opening, as in a wall. 4. a vacancy; vacuum.
Other things besides the absence of God can leave a void, a gap, or a vacancy in us. It happens when things or people or circumstances that were meant, in God’s original plan, to fill us up, but dug out holes and left us empty instead.
- An alcoholic parent
- Absent or distant or work-addicted parent
- A parent too emotionally handicapped for a healthy relationship
- A dysfunctional family
- Abuse by a parent or other family member
- Distant or absent extended family
- Losing a best friend or friends
- Being hurt in church by other Christians or a pastor
- An unfaithful, abusive or emotionally unavailable spouse
- Sickness, chronic pain or handicap
- An untimely or violent death of a family member
- A heavy work load and/or busy schedule
Most people experience one of these or other void-inducing people, places or things in their lifetimes. Each one can take another chunk out of our soul and leave us a little more empty.
In forty-three years of life, I’ve experienced some degree of almost everything on this list. Occasionally, on bad days, I come to a place of pondering if perhaps there is more space than substance left inside of me.
And then on Father’s Day (always a difficult time for me) I got a deeper insight into something I had already experienced to some degree.
The greater the void, the more space there is for God to fill up with Himself. And if I let Him do just that, let Him pour Himself into all the cracks and crevasses made by everyone else NOT being there for me…
I will have an opportunity for a greater experience of the Presence of God than someone who has experienced less deprivation and therefore has less space for Him. Inside me I have a Grand Canyon of vacancy made by loss upon loss. But it means I also have a bigger void for God, when I remember to turn to Him to fill me up.
And when I do, He does.
Yes. I have a God shaped void, and a parent shaped void and a husband shaped void, and many other voids too numerous and too personal to count or write.
He fills them all.
I am His Grand Canyon.