This was meant for you….
He sits there in the darkened room, drapes drawn so tightly that not even a sliver of sunlight can penetrate inside, no light to ward off the gloom. The only light available dances across the room, strange flickers from the television screen. The TV is playing a rerun of some mediocre sitcom he has never seen, one that he doesn’t care to see now. The television’s sole purpose is to offer enough illumination for him to see his lighter and his pipe, to muffle the noise of his quiet coughing fits that come between the inhalations of his nothing maker.
He takes a hit, and almost immediately a calmness comes over him, a soothing calmness he has been trying to escape to all day long, that he has been craving all day. The calmness of nothing. Nothing hurts anymore, nothing angers anymore, nothing bothers him anymore. At least for now. He has escaped it all, reality and pain. He feels dead inside. Though he feels nothing, he likes it, at least temporarily. The nothing has him trapped.
She looks at her phone. Again. Every few minutes she is looking, but there is nothing. She has waited expectantly, once more, for a response. And still, there is nothing. A tear makes it’s way slowly down her cheek, followed by another, and her sweet eyes blur. Hastily, she wipes her eyes dry with the sleeve of her favorite hoodie, the one he bought her long ago. She wipes her tears away quickly, because she needs her eyes to be clear, to search for his reply when he finally sends one. If he ever sends one. She waits. But still, there is nothing. Not a yes, not a no. Not a maybe, or an I love you. No I miss you, or even a leave me alone. There is no message, there is only nothing. No answers, no closure. The nothing squeezes her heart and she feels as if she’s been punched in the stomach. The nothing holds her captive, holds her prisoner. The nothing keeps her waiting, and it is torture to her soul. She is longing for something, yet she receives nothing. Nothing has a grip on her, nothing has made her a slave. She is trapped by the nothing.
He is lying in bed. Eyes closed, though he isn’t sleeping, just pretending to be. He’s on a low, and he doesn’t respond when his girlfriend cheerfully tells him good morning. He pretends to be sleeping, and stares silently at the back of his eyelids, seeing nothing. Soon enough he will have to force himself out of bed, force himself to shower, force himself to eat, and force himself to respond to conversation. More pretending, and he’s become an excellent pretender. Though he loves his girlfriend, he pretends to be sleeping so that he doesn’t have to pretend to feel anything. All he feels is nothing. No joy. No happiness. Nothing to be excited about. Soon enough, he will get up, plaster a fake smile on his face to camouflage the nothing, and pretend that the nothing isn’t hovering all around him, sucking all the enjoyment out of everything. He feels nothing, and he feels like the nothing will never end. Caught in depression’s vice like grip, he has no idea how to fight, or how to ask for help. He just makes his way through the nothing of another day, until he can go back to bed and feel nothing for real. He is trapped by the nothing.
She takes a sip, holding it in her mouth for a second, enjoying the the cold crispness of her bottle of beer. She takes another swallow, then another, and she lets out a long, pent up breath. After the first bottle goes down, they begin to go a little faster, and soon she can feel the tension of the day leaving her body. Her shoulders relax, her neck no longer feels tense. She drinks another, then another, and accidentally spills one on the table. Clumsily, she has knocked her drink over as she fiddles with the radio and sings along, singing too loudly. She giggles as she attempts to clean it up, not caring about the mess, just caring about nothing. She is feeling good, relaxed, she is really getting into feeling the nothing. Soon she is chasing the calm, drinking a little faster, chasing the buzz that brings her the nothing.
One drink after another, she has no idea that she’s crossed the line from feeling loose to completely drunk. She just wants more of the nothing. She just wants that nothing really matters feeling to stay, to never go away.
Soon, through a fog, she feels the need to hide her keys, and to hide her paycheck. Part of her reaches through the nothing, and remembers that she has made bad decisions during the nothing before. She wants to feel safe in the nothing, to worry about nothing, before the nothing turns from gray to black. And it will turn black. It always does. She hides her things, and she hides them well, and returns to the nothing.
Later, she is slumped on the couch, one shoe on, one shoe off, an overturned beer bottle in her lap. She doesn’t feel the wetness of her clothes, she doesn’t hear the blaring radio, nor does she hear her cell phone ringing. She has forgotten to close her front door, and the chilly night air makes it’s way in. Though it is cold, she feels nothing. The phone rings again, a loved one is in the hospital, but she knows nothing. In the morning she will wake up freezing, head pounding, unable to find her things, and will remember nothing. Then she will feel like nothing, because she is trapped by the nothing.
The anxious mother checks her wallet, for a dollar, or some loose quarters, but she finds nothing. From her cell phone, she desperately checks her account balance, hoping for something, knowing it is nothing. She opens the refrigerator, she sees nothing, no miracle on the shelf that she can feed her children with. The kids are off to school, and she needs to get ready for one of her part-time jobs, but all she is doing is worrying about the nothing. There is nothing for dinner, there is nothing in her wallet, there is nothing in her checking account.
She takes a shower, and as she is blow drying her hair, her mind racing, the hair dryer shuts off, the lights go out. She is standing alone in the dark, in the nothing. There is silence. No light. No noise. Nothing. The electricity has finally been turned off, and she knows why. She is way past due on the bill, because she has had nothing to pay it with.
She cries. A deep, pitiful, heart wrenching cry. She feels alone in the nothing. She feels like a bad mom, she feels like a nothing.
Leaving the house, she climbs into her seventeen year old car, and after three tries it chugs to life. Thankful that it starts, she glances at the gas guage as she is backing out. Her heart sinks. There is nothing in it. She prays that it will make it to the place she is stopping on the way to work, the place she doesn’t want to go.
She drives to an ugly brick building that looks dirty. In the window a neon sign flashes: WE BUY GOLD, in obscene red letters. She doesn’t want to be here, but she has no choice, she has nothing. She has waited and hoped all week that her child support check would come, but every day she has checked the mail and there has been nothing. Once again, he has decided to send nothing.
She takes a deep breath, and tries to feel nothing as she unclasps the gold necklace from around her neck. It is a beautiful piece of jewelry, left to her by her late grandmother. A family heirloom, the only thing on earth that she possesses with any monetary value. She takes it inside, and a few moments later she is leaving with a few crumpled twenties, nowhere near what the piece is worth in value, or in her heart. She has pawned it for next to nothing, so she can get something. This little bit of money will buy food and a little gas, and some candles for light. As she drives to work she tries to think of a game to make candlelight fun, so that the children won’t be scared of the dark. She drives and she is tired. Tired of the nothing. She is trapped by nothing.
Nothing is the feeling you have inside when another person uses something you confided in them to hurt you, or betray you. Nothing is the feeling you have when you are waiting for your loved one to come home, and he doesn’t. Nothing is a tool used by the devil, to convince you that you aren’t worth anything.
Don’t believe the nothing. Don’t believe the lies.
Nothing hurts, deeply. Nothing destroys, completely. It chokes you, suffocates you, fills you with dread. Nothing is empty, but it is real. It is heavy, it is painful, and it feels like it will never end.
But nothing lasts forever. Not even the nothing.
Do you feel the nothing? Do you know someone who does? I want to let you in on a little secret.
Beautiful things can come from nothing.
I have witnessed it, I have experienced it. Today, the nothing tried to take me, again. Something hurt me, but I will not let the nothing win. I received help from the only one who has ever been able to help me, the only one who loves me no matter what.
God created this world out of nothing. He made you, He made me, out of nothing. You may feel like nothing important, but I am telling you that you are everything to God. You are his masterpiece. You are a wonderful creation, you are something. You are meant for more than nothing.
I’m calling to all of you out there, who feel trapped by the nothing. I’m calling on you to pray. To fight. To believe that joy is coming, because joy really is coming.
If you are messed up, mentally, physically, or emotionally by the nothing, I want you to know that there is a way out, and the way is Jesus. He will make a way for you, if you believe, if you ask, if you pray. He will create something beautiful out of your nothing.
I pray for any and all who need comfort today. I pray that you turn your back on the nothing, and that you find the everything. Look for Him. You will find Him. He’s been waiting for you for quite a while now, and He will fill you with something, and that something is beautiful. He will not neglect you, judge you, harm you, hurt you, or betray you. He will banish the nothing. If you let him. Will you let him?
And for those of you who have finally escaped the nothing? I pray that you help others find their way out.
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I sought the Lord , and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.