I started this post a month ago. On that night, I picked my own word. I simply didn’t have enough brain energy to ask Nancy for a place to start, so I decided to start with “nothing.”
It turns out, you and I both need to be reminded that from time to time, starting with nothing is an acceptable place to start. After we’ve had hard conversations, worked long shifts, wrestled with death and life and change and stability, we can be expected to have nothing left with which to start.
And that was as far as I got. The next morning, you likely read a rerun, a post that I had written in the past.
I’m coming back to this post because it is still true that starting with nothing is not nothing.
Sometimes our feeling of having nothing to offer comes because we believe that everyone else already knows the things we have to share. Or because everyone already has the things we have to offer. Sometimes that feeling comes from believing that we have nothing NEW to offer.
But we often need to be reminded of the old things. We often need to hear someone else say the things that we thought only we knew, only we had experienced.
For example, I need to be reminded regularly that Jesus talked patiently to impatient people, he talked compassionately to aching people, he talked directly to obnoxious people.
Old things, new reminders.
And I need to be reminded that I am not the only one who is tired, or confused, or feeling nothing. Because that reminder, from someone who had a similar experience and survived, gives me hope.
When I sit in a room with someone who is angry with God and they want nothing to do with him, and I tell them that Moses was angry with God and David was angry with God and John and James and Peter simply did not understand God, sometimes that person looks at me and says, “really?”
And that’s something.
But sometimes you have nothing because you gave everything. And to you I say, “be at peace.” And “Thank you.”