Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)
TITLE: Filling Holes
By Linda Boulanger
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They met. They talked. He made her laugh. The good old days were always a recurring theme. Back to a day when life was filled with hopes instead of unfulfilled dreams. It was a time when someone else took care of her instead of waiting for her to meet their needs.
When she was with him the hard mask she always kept firmly in place would dissolve. Her smile grew wider, eyes glimmered. Traces of her former beauty returned and softened her features. And for a few hours she felt at peace. The hole seemed filled.
But it was only dressed, covered over like a bandaged wound. The gauze of fantasy would disappear and emptiness would return. The ache became unbearable. She tried to work, to tend to the duties of daily life, but couldn’t. More and more she sought him; using him almost like a drug to ease the anguish.
Then it happened, the unthinkable. One day he was gone. No more...what would she do? Her heart beat wildly. Fear and panic set in. Then the ache, more powerful than she had ever felt it. “Oh God,” she thought, “don’t let this be happening. I need him.”
“No!” The voice spoke to her; that still, small voice from within. “You need Me.”
She sat up and looked around as if seeing for the first time. Her home, the home He had given to her. Her belongings, the belongings He had provided for. She looked at the photographs of her children, at her wedding portrait. The subjects smiled at her. She could almost sense their heads nodding in agreement with the voice.
“How?” she asked. “How can You remove the pain and fill the hole in my heart?”
“I put the hole inside of you when you gave your life to Me. I created you with a longing. You are not alone in that. There is no one and no thing that can fill it but Me. You used to know that, when your heart was soft toward Me; when you burned for knowledge and understanding. You were fulfilled then. But you turned away. You allowed a few valleys to harden your heart toward Me.” His voice was soft, not condescending. There was no chastisement, only sorrow at having lost her. “I have holes too. I endured them for you.” He held out His hands. “My heart also aches for you. Come back to Me.”
She turned away and looked down at her feet. She could almost hear His sigh. Was He disappointed? No, He was saddened. She dared a glance back at Him.
“I’ll be here,” He said with a smile, “when you’re ready. I won’t leave you, ever.” His hands were still outstretched toward her.
Tears stung her eyes. Her mind wrestled. Could she return? She’d moved so far away. Her life would have to be reordered. She’d have to give up certain things, rethink chosen paths. She thought back to the time He had spoken of, when she was on fire for Him. It had been a time of...fulfillment. There’d been no emptiness, no ache in her heart then.
What had happened? Why had she let it go? As with all things worthwhile in life, it was work. She’d gotten lazy. She’d let down her guard and, when adversity hit, she had begun to look at self. She had taken her focus off the prize, allowing life to fill her head with pseudo-prizes instead. She’d quit reading His word, quit talking to Him, quit listening for His voice with eager anticipation...pursued Him only as need arose.
She wanted to believe. Slowly, she stretched her hands toward His. He took them and pulled her into a loving hug. She closed her eyes as the feeling of Him washed over her in a wave of peaceful contentment. Oh how she had missed Him. Hope again filled her heart and the hardness began to crumble. The hole was closing.
“This time,” He said, “don’t turn away from Me when adversity strikes. Turn to Me. Let me hold you as I’m doing now. I will strengthen you and battle for you. I’ll order your steps and direct your path. No more heartache. Remember I’m here. Let My love fill you.”
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