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Guest post by J. M. Hawkins

Dear Soul,


A lot of times, I feel empty inside.


Dear Life,


That’s good—because if there were no empty places inside, there would be no place for what’s coming next in your life.

The Lifesaver and Emptiness

The lifesaver hung on the side of the ship, forever feeling incomplete. As the years passed, the sense of inner-emptiness increased, so she was often in despair.

And then one morning there was a shout—“Man overboard!”—and the lifesaver was flying off the side of the ship, landing on a wave. The hands of a little girl clutched the lifesaver to her—and then she was inside the ring, so happy to be saved.

Now all those years of emptiness made sense. If there had been no emptiness, there would have been no place for the child.

Today, I won’t overfill my day—I’ll leave some blank spaces for new life, new answers, new possibilities.

P.S. Speaking of new possibilities for filling the emptiness: An interviewer said to Mother Theresa, “Mother Theresa, you do so much for others, is there anything we can do for you? Do you need money?” Mother Theresa said, “No, we’re fine.” “Well, is there anything we can do?” Mother Theresa thought a moment and said, “Well, you might find someone who needs a friend and be a friend to them.”

– Geoffery Moore

 *The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups that met in cities across America in the 1990s and early 2000s.