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A Full And Empty Heart

Sat, Feb. 14, 2015 Posted: 03:17 PM


How can it be that I have a full and empty heart?

It has taken me some time or should I say experience to fully understand how it can be, so let me share with you. There was a time in my life several years ago when everything mattered to me. I held almost-sacred all that I had achieved and possessed. I worked hard for the things in my life, I was careful in selecting most of it and each and every thing was precious to me. I cared for them, protected them, and kept them in the best condition I could. I'd say that I was a good steward of my life.

Over the years, little by little, these things have all been taken away from me. I can say taken because it was by no doing of my own that they are no longer mine. With each loss, I grieved and grew angry. Yet, no matter the depths of my grief, still I could not change the fact that I had suffered the loss. I knew I wasn't alone, everyone suffers loss, but I had so little to start off with, I had so little to lose. Loss comes to us all.

In my sadness I persevered to find good things and beauty. I would often look to nature to find simple beauty, or plant flowers to watch life grow and paint my world with colors. I could always make the sun shine by altering my perspective. This was essential in dealing with the loss in my life. Still more loss comes.

In recent months the amount of loss I have endured is incredible. I am now numb to the shock of it. Honestly I expect it to keep coming, hoping otherwise but accepting the possibility. Being numb controls the sadness. It makes me feel cold and heartless but it keeps the sadness under control. It's like living in a void. That is exactly where I feel I am, in a void. Of course the dead of winter helps me feel this way. Buried under several feet of snow with more on the way tonight, living in a one room space without the luxuries of home, and being completely alone most of the hours of the day... it can make you feel like you're living in a void. This is some of what makes my heart empty. My heart is empty but it is also full.

There is another perspective I can share to illustrate this for you. It begins with peace and freedom. Those are gloriously beautiful words. Imagine an artist's canvas. Paint with me if you will, vivid blues and greens. Cover the canvas so there are no voids, no white areas. When I realize the tranquil serenity that surrounds me where I now live, I am enveloped in the warm embrace of God's provision. Add to the canvas glimmering yellow, speckle it about so it touches all over the canvas.

When I consider the personal growth I am experiencing in my safe environment I realize the goodness of God and all that He wants me to see in myself. Dip that brush into magenta and paint an area that represents me. Add a little white to soften the pink in one area to illustrate the feminine woman I am on the inside, under the thick skinned scars I wear as a cloak. Knowing that the Creator of my being made me perfect in His way, I can see colors I am normally blind to. Add orange and teal, yes I know they clash... but they are God's colors and He is BEAUTIFUL.

On this journey of living in the void I have found many ways to see life through a different lens. Without the suffering being the focus, without living in the insanity, I have begun to heal and grow. I am seeing myself as a beautiful masterpiece God designed me to be. The painting is not finished, but it is becoming more and more interesting each day. Take a few smaller brushes, dip them each in a color not used yet and add lots of flecks of each all over the canvas. Those represent all of the blessings I receive daily in various forms. Whether it be through connections on social media, interactions with strangers, kindness and generosity shown to me through friends, or the loving words of family. These are the nutrients to my soul and keep me above the void every single day!

One shining aspect of all of this is the prayers of the faithful. Many are praying for me. I do not know their prayers but I feel the sparkle of God's shining light in my life. I know without a doubt that He is answering their prayers. They are like diamonds on the canvas. With a tiny brush, dip the tip in white and mark various places on the edges of some of the colors as if shining from the True Light.

I couldn't leave off without mentioning music. I have felt my heart beat in a new way over the last several months. It is no secret I have a new love of a variety of music. I have learned many lessons here but for this purpose I will show you the best of it. God is not only visually stunning, He is audibly amazing as well. I hear music in colors now. Since I am a visual person, I can only explain it by describing what I feel when I hear the intricate sounds of music as a burst of brilliance. Music makes my heart beat. It makes my soul come to life. It makes me feel alive. Whether it is a piano melody, a guitar solo, or the guttural sounds of a singer bleeding the lyrics in his song, I feel the colors! Add red to your brush and outline some of the other colors on one side with strokes of red. This I feel is the Love of God vibrating through life in sounds.

I am overwhelmed as I write this, of course listening to music on headphones helps, but I am filled with sheer amazement when I see all that God is doing in my life. If you look through the wrong lens you will only see the darkness in the void. Hopefully, you can now see as I do, through the Master's hand on the canvas. This is how my heart is full.

May you always look through the kaleidoscope of life and see beauty in the storms and make your own canvas full of beautiful colors.

Lori Minutoli