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A God-Shaped Hole

By Kellie Purcill

There’s not a big difference between holy and holey. Just a little swirl of ink, to look at it on the page. The difference grows more pronounced in real-life, though, more clearly defined in terms of the bits that are missing, the shine that is muted, the fatigue drooping the edges, the decided lack of angelic choir or visitations.

On the spectrum of holy to holey, I think I’m somewhere around the jelly donut point – mostly fine, with a mess I know is for “a purpose” but it’s gotten kind of stale pretty quickly. So, after intense, determined self-reflection, I think it’s time for me to be a fleck of gold (fool’s variety, to start). Or a brick. I’d make a great brick.

God does not appear to agree with my upgrade suggestions. He’s been telling me a whole lot of nothing lately, so much so it’s like I’m poking holes in myself checking my spiritual bruises and fluid levels. Does it still hurt if I poke this one? Yep, but it’s definitely healing. Oh, this one over here doesn’t hurt. Poke it again to make sure. Ouch, just stabbed myself with my nail. Now I’m bleeding. So… am I now leaking indicator fluid? Is this the beginning of an end? Is this a sign? Yes, it’s a sign to stop poking yourself. And slow down long enough to fix your nail instead of gnawing it. Ugh, that wasn’t God, that was me, being sensible.

I don’t like having a god-shaped hole. It’s unnatural to me, like someone’s organised my spices by size, like having my favourite pillow replaced with a blanket, like I’m somehow a titch to the left of where I should be. Cue more self-examination, albeit with less bloody poking. This time, it was exploration with depth-charges, gauging the booms and echoes for dangers and monsters.

I didn’t find any monsters. No warning signs, zero dangers. It wasn’t just a god-shaped hole, it was a me-shaped hole too. Turns out that I’ve changed in small ways, over a long time, so very gradually that I forgot that I was slogging away at a burden, a difficulty, a goal dead ahead. Instead, the effort just became part of my usual routine, and so I didn’t notice I was changing. I didn’t remember that we – God and I – were whittling away at the obstacle, constant as trickling water, so that when the obstacle was gone, we just kept on flowing through the space, along new riverbeds, unaware.

Obviously, God knew. I just had to catch up. After all, I’m not going to hear God, feel God, know God today in the places where I’m not. Having the sense and the senses to see heaven at work means not focusing on where He isn’t, but seeing where He is, hidden among the piled-up dishes, the school run traffic, the text messages on my phone. It’s seeing what we – the holy, ultimate royal Divine we of “us” – what we have accomplished. The changes we’ve wrought in my life with each tiny trickle, the rebuilding after the tsunamis, the banging the holes for the light to get in, the God-shaped whole.

Where are you on the holy-holey spectrum? Where have you seen God lately? What do you do when you find a God-shaped hole? Which changes or  accomplishments have you realised lately?

About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

3 thoughts on “A God-Shaped Hole”

  1. Oh my, I needed this today, Kel. I am lately realising to my surprise that hey! yes! I have evolved! Glacially, to be sure, but with a few decades perspective, I notice decided change. Whether it's for the better or worse remains to be seen.

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  2. delicious. Kel writing is the so sensory. It's true. I'm not finding God everywhere I used to, but in absences and spaces that are new to me. I'm finding I have to dig in and engage in new ways, new books, new projects and new people and by finding God there, I'm also finding more of myself.

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  3. Oh, Kel. Beautiful.

    "Having the sense and the senses to see heaven at work means not focusing on where He isn’t, but seeing where He is, hidden among the piled-up dishes, the school run traffic, the text messages on my phone. It’s seeing what we – the holy, ultimate royal Divine we of “us” – what we have accomplished. The changes we’ve wrought in my life with each tiny trickle, the rebuilding after the tsunamis, the banging the holes for the light to get in, the God-shaped whole."

    Reply

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