I wrote the following over a year ago. It started with my impressions of the first couple of lines from John chapter 1. The rest grew from there:

“In the beginning, was the Word, and Word was with God and the Word was God…In him was life and the life was the light of men.” Thus, begins the Gospel according to John. These lines, simple in form, yet deep in meaning, teach us about the nature of our existence. They teach us that God is an eternal Word spoken in the language of the soul, and heard with the eyes of faith. Only, we’ve all fallen away, wandering in a wasteland of Wordlessness.Yet he did not turn away. From the other side of life, He called to us through a Word made flesh, through the person of Christ who stretched out His arms on a cross to form the everlasting bridge between heaven and earth.

Even so, like little children, we only understood in a dim and dark way. His Word remained quiet and our words grew louder. Day by day we replaced love with lust, patience with pride, and giving with greed. We spoke and all the words became empty and fell from our mouths like pebbles. We spoke a thousand words but it was as if we had spoken none. We had exchanged the Word of God for the mere words of man.

But every once in a while we remember: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Buried deep beneath the rubble of our fallen nature, an old, ancient part of us still guards the light. It still stirs within us, like a sputtering fire burning in the deep darkest night of the soul. When we manage to see through the haze of pride, when we unshackle ourselves from the chains of greed, when we lift ourselves beyond the lust, we catch glimpses of that Light and we hear the one true Word.

“Why” cries the soul, “must this be?” “Why do I wander so empty and forlorn? Why does the food that I eat crumble like dust in my mouth? “Why do my accomplishments wash away like salt in the rain?” The answer is all too plain. We fear the emptiness, the darkness within us, the desert of the soul. We run from it, and we try to fill it up with songs and good cheer, plugging it up with wads of cash, purging it with the smell of food, covering it over with success, muffling its silence with music, drowning it with drink. But no matter what we throw into it, the emptiness consumes what it does not need.

In the end, we must stop talking. Then, and only then, with clear minds we can retreat into the desert of silence. There, deep in the soul we must listen for the Word that made us. Only there, in total emptiness can we find complete fullness. For a vessel can only receive if it’s empty, and once it is empty, the soul can learn to speak again, one Word, the only Word that matters.

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One Response so far.

  1. Maryellen says:

    Beautiful.

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