Running on Empty

I am nearly empty of words.

I grew up in Texas… and in my early years we would say… There’s a hole as big as Dallas.

It’s a gaping void alright.

My heart is very sad over the Connecticut tragedy.  Like so many of us, merely sending love and prayers to those families just doesn’t feel like enough to help heal their pain and grieving.  Still I will try.

Any parent who has lost a child identifies with these broken hearts.  No matter the circumstances… be they everyday life or such horrific violence… the fact remains that a child is gone.  There is a hole.

And every story of this nature rekindles the memories and feelings of loss.  I know because I’ve been there… I lost a child once.

Words of advice to all:  Go hug your babies and everyone you love.  There are not enough days to waste.  None.

[To all of you faithful readers out there, I apologize for the void here on this blog.  I am so deeply grateful for your support and encouragement… and I ask for your continued prayers.  More tests have revealed that my mom’s cancer has spread to other bones.  There are no days to waste.]

Living life well has taken on new urgency.  And that is gift for these last days of Advent.

“Be ever watchful and vigilant for we know not the day or the hour.”  Jesus was right.


australia emmanuel stampOne of my very favorite names for God ever… Emmanuel… God-with-us.

It’s too bad that we don’t use it more all year long.  It’s such a great reminder for every day.

God is here… with us in all the moments that we live and love… whether in joy or tragedy.  Our God is here.

I find great comfort in that thought.  Easy-to-forget though.

We are made in the image of God.  Words straight from the Bible.  God is with us because God is in us.

So God is with you.  God is with me.  God is alive in the whole world.

Let’s take that gift of grace deep into our hearts these Advent days and all days.


About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

4 responses »

  1. Don McCrabb says:

    I feel your emptiness.

    I take great comfort from Jesus’ words to his followers found in the Gospel of John (14:3) – “I go and prepare a place for you and I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may also be.”

    I believe in the midst of all that violence, Jesus himself took each one of those children to himself and welcomed them into joy – and the adults who struggled to save them.

    But we are still left feeling empty. We need this emptiness. It will teach us humility. Prayefully, it will force us to look carefully at all the particulars of this event. What does it say to us about guns and the type of guns that are available? What does it say to us about mental health? What does it say to us about family and absent fathers? What does it say to us about privilege and small towns? What does it say to us about our culture? Perhaps we are more a culture of death than we have the courage to admit.

    Long story short, when I was a teenager I took my father’s revolver. I was scarred to death of it and made sure it was unloaded. How would my life be different if my Dad owned a semi-automatic? If he took me to the shooting range? If I played video games that glorified shooting and gave me a false sense of power? Can anyone develop a true conscience when they are playing games at the speed of light? Or even the speed of an automatic weapon pumping out death with the speed of our morning shower?

    Yes, let’s bless this emptiness. May it be as barren as a lowly manger tucked away on the outskirts of Bethlehem. For it is only in our emptiness that Christ can be born anew.

    May this be our prayer. May this be our New Year’s resolution.

    • What a great reflection Don! Thank you.

      I like your words: “We need this emptiness. It will teach us humility.”

      Yes… barrenness beyond our control teaches profound lessons. We must empty ourselves before God can fill us.

      Thank you for reminding me of the gift of emptiness.

      Peace and Christmas blessings to your family!

  2. Ronald of Richmond says:

    I’m very sad after the e-mail received this AM from LW. Emmanuel is appropriate way to accept and trust. On the tragedy of children’s lives and the holes each of us shares in many ways, it troubles me that the same concern and grief that the nation expresses these days is not also felt for the millions of babies killed in the womb. Susan lived at 6 months and 3+ lbs to be a wonderful teacher and Christian contributor, when so many others at the same term and lbs had their lives aborted. Emmanuel! May people see God’s light.
    R of R

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