There’s a gap when you’re gone that I can’t seem to replace.
Some Christians make me feel guilty for feeling this – any kind of emptiness. I need to just get over all those brothers and sisters in Christ that just don’t want to be considered mine anymore.
But, if we could fill every gap on earth, would it still be earth?
That sounds like the New Jerusalem to me.
So, I might not be able to fill the place you leave when you’re not here. But He’ll rest with me here in the unknowing silence. I’ll wait.
Substitutes repel us; we simply have to wait and wait; we have to suffer unspeakably from the separation, and feel the longing till it almost makes us ill. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1943
It’s okay to feel like you’re missing something or someone. Because you are.
We’re inching towards the Day of all days – but we’re not there yet. God is our portion – but we’re still human. We still enjoy earthly pleasures too much, we’re ‘too easily entertained’. But yet, God still gives.
We ought to find and love God in what he actually gives us; if it pleases him to allow us to enjoy some overwhelming earthly happiness, we mustn’t try to be more pious than God himself and allow our happiness to be corrupted by presumption and arrogance, and by unbridled religious fantasy which is never satisfied with what God gives. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1943
and, finally… what I’m trying to tie a bow around and make pretty for you to read:
It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; he doesn’t fill it, but on the contrary, he keeps it empty and so helps us to keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christmas Eve 1943.
So, what do I want you to remember, when you click that red box up there in the corner and leave me alone to my thoughts?
- your gaps won’t be filled by trivial things. they will just be entertained.
- numbing the world’s pain won’t make it go away.
But this most of all, the phrase that keeps playing in my mind on repeat as I finally “get over it”:
You’re worth more than substitutes and clenched fists.
You can’t cling to people, jobs, or situations longer than they were made for your life…and that thing you use to try to fill their place? It’s just a matter of time until it leaves you emptier than you were before.
Smile because it happened, because there was a reason. A divine reason. Just shake your head at why it didn’t continue (you may never know and that’s okay, even if it takes seven months or seven years to admit to that).
And never forget that you’re worth more than the lies you tell yourself.
Punch a hole in that dang roof, dust those shelves, and water those darling flowers. Just because you’re clean doesn’t mean you won’t miss it. Dust anyway.
Because there are some even-better-for-you friends to love on, a gap still remaining that won’t last forever, and a whole lot of life waiting for you once you decide what’s really gone is not worth your crying-tears time anymore, but rather just a respectful wave from time to time.
I wave and whisper, “Even if it seemed like nothing…thanks for being a comforting and protective dotted line on this short, moon-lit walk home.”
Some people are dotted lines and other people are destinations. Some people get you somewhere and some people are just a place to be, all in themselves. But you cannot force those dotted lines into destinations. It doesn’t really work that way. -Hannah Brencher, If You Find This Letter.
To my destinations – you’re out there, I know it. Thanks for always staying.