As we prepare ourselves and our families to enter New Year 2019, let us come out of ourselves and in retrospect try to seek our maker as to our purpose for being here. Many of us have gone out and pulled the plastic card out knowing that we were going to get down the road and ask ourselves, “Why did I buy that or why did I spend money on things that I just wanted but did not need?” It happens every year and this is a reminder that all the stuff in the world will not fill that void that many of us feel. You and I know people close to us, and some far away, who seem to have it all but are most unhappy. Many who seem to have all the stuff and the means to get the stuff are the most miserable. After all the running, decorating trees, purchasing and wrapping gifts, we feel empty or, as T.S. Elliot describes the feeling, hollow. There seems to be a hole in our soul out of which things that we need are escaping, and there seems to be nothing we can do about it. We whisper to ourselves that next year will be different, knowing that it will not be because we said the same thing to ourselves last year and the year before.
Just the other day I was speaking to my spiritual daughter, who is rich in physical beauty and seems to have it all together.
She said, “Mrs. Samuel, can we walk back to where we were when I first met you and was jobless? You know, that time when I felt most complete and had nothing materialistic at that time. I had just lost my job and you were doing a service in the community and I joined you. We gave service to the community. I went to bed each night feeling complete and purposeful. I have a great void in my heart, and my soul does not feel complete. Something is missing. I am just going through the motions with everything I am doing now. Can we find our way back? Something is blocking my connection with Him and His power. I am sure it is something that I have allowed to come between me and my power source (The Holy Spirit).”
I shared with her that we all go through a dry spell or a drought in our spiritual walk, and I was able to identify particular feelings of hers. She would say, “Yes, that is it. That is just what I am feeling.”
I shared stories with her that she already knew about Jesus and his walk. I shared with her that he had to get away from all of his disciples and distractions as he was finding his way back to the Father’s heart and allowing the Father to enter his heart.
Jesus said to nine of them, “You all stay right here. I must move up a little higher to get the right connection.”
He took Peter, John and James another distance and then realized he had to go it alone. He said to them, “You three stay here and pray while I go a little further to speak with my father.”
Many times when we are feeling emptiness, it is because we are not seeing God or hearing clearly the voice of God in what we are doing. We crowd our minds with other distracting stuff. There is a special place in each of us where the things of God are to fit. There is a “God-placed opening” in each of us, and when we are not at the brook where he told us to go, the raven will not feed us. Listening to his voice is very important in order for us to feel the fullness of joy which is promised to us. Elijah could have gone to a different body of water and missed his daily meal, and therefore he would have starved to death. When the prophet told the man blind from birth to go wash in the pool of Siloam and his healing would take place, the blind man could have gone to the Nile or the Pool at Bethesda. The healing would not have taken place.
Listening to a voice other than our own will allow us to find our individual healing, our family will be healed and it shall follow as night the day that our community will begin to be healed. The healing of our nation begins with each of us.
Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright and a director in Rome.