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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: What Fills All Emptiness
By Zahiryn Velez Hernandez


“It’s empty.”

“Full,” I countered with a grin. She raised an eyebrow, furrowed her brow, narrowed her eyes and crossed both arms firmly over her chest. That was all I needed to know that she wanted an explanation, and a good one at that. I sat down in the bare ground and she followed suit, her eyes traveling the room with a blue, hopeful stare—almost like she had expected to see something different from the last time we had been here, but that was not the case.

“Look, Sara, this room might be hollow of money, furniture, food, and so on…” she nodded, eyes still scanning one of the small, poor houses of Africa—we where in a missionary trip—void of things we might consider necessary for a comfortable live; with broken windows, half a roof of hay and pure dust for floor and bed.

“You are accepting is empty!”

I shook my head, chuckling lightly “You are not letting me finish.”

She stood up, with an accusatory, friendly glare and a big smile, “I just said what you said, Miguel.”

“Let me finish, please?”

She nodded in silence.

“It’s empty, like you said, but is full; way full of what is not vanity…” I moved towards one of the windows, just a broken hole in one of the walls made of… wood? I’m not really sure; resting myself against it, stirred my arms over my shoulders, and gazed out, towards the wagon we brought with us, full of food, clothes, and necessities of life, and the crowd of people in need all around it… their bare feet, slender bodies, broken lips and ragged clothes.

I admired the desert scenery, fixing my eyes in the horizon. The twilight was beautiful. The sun was setting down, casting everything in a golden glow.

“Full of what, then?” she inquired, her tone more passive now, more gentle. I took her hand, and fingered the ring of our weeding, smiling like a silly school boy—she had been the first of many blessings to come in my life. Giving my hand back a soft squeeze, she intertwined our fingers.

“Full of hope, expectation and faith,” I explained, eyes closed, eyelids relaxed, “They don’t deal with the ruckus we have created in our lives thanks to one to many blessings. They have little, but sometimes little is much. It creates a humble soul and a person that will accept anything, no matter how small or simple, with an open heart, a big smile and a real, sincere thank you.”

“Empty is full you say, then?”

“Yes, like I’m empty of solitude and full of you.”

“And empty of this world’s joy and full of God’s?”

“Exactly,” I spun towards the room and wandered, with a lazy saunter, towards the only piece of furniture in the house: a small, broken table. “And, this room will have this,” I placed the book down in the middle of the table, and then strolled for the door. It was not just a mere book I was leaving there; it was one that could fill any hole, gap or emptiness with the words in it.

“Coming? There is a lot to do still,” I asked to Sara, mi wife, over my shoulder.


Granted, it was an empty house, an empty room… but it was going to be full of God and his word—and, sometimes, that’s just enough.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Phee Paradise 06/16/09
Good story with a couple of surprises. But I'm a little confused about the narrator's dialogue. I suppose English isn't his native language, but even so, some of the things he said could have been clearer.
Rachel Burkum06/16/09
I think the part I liked the most was the picture in my mind, created of your MC's eyes when he spoke to his wife. They sparkled with enthusiasm for the mission, with delight for being able to share this message, with amusement for the look on his wife's face that begged an explanation, and with love for both Sara and the mission field. If only more people would realize that empty can be full.