A prayer to become empty

Written by on August 14, 2011 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

Following is a prayer by Macrina Wiederkehr entitled “The Empty Water Jug” that I read on a friend’s blog today. My friend works and lives among the poor here in Phnom Penh. She is daily confronted with needs and suffering she can’t meet or alleviate, but she keeps going outside and facing what she finds there. Such living will strip illusions away. We live with overwhelming struggles and sorrows never far away, and beauty and abundance. What a joy it is when they really meet.

“…full of things…smothered by gods”

Jesus, I come to the warmth of your Presence
knowing that You are
the very emptiness of God.
I come before You
holding the water jar of my life.
Your eyes meet mine
and I know what I’d rather not know.

I came to be filled
but I am already full.
I am too full.
This is my sickness
I am full of things
that crowd out
Your healing Presence.

A holy knowing steals inside my heart
and I see the painful truth.
I don’t need more
I need less
I am too full.

I am full of things that block out
Your golden grace.
I am smothered by gods of my own creation
I am lost in the forest of my false self
I am full of my own opinions and narrow attitudes
full of fear, resentment, control
full of self pity, and arrogance.
Slowly this terrible truth pierces my heart,
I am so full, there is no room for You.

Contemplatively, and with compassion,
You ask me to reach into my water jar.
One by one, Jesus, you enable me
to lift out the things
that are a hindrance to my wholeness.
I take each on to my heart,
I hear You asking me
” Why is this so important to you ? ”

Like the murmur of a gentle stream
I hear You calling,
” Let go, let go, let go! ”
I pray with each obstacle
tasting the bitterness and grief
it has caused.

Finally
I sit with my empty water jar
I hear you whisper
You have become a space for God
Now there is hope
Now you are ready to be a channel of Life.
You have given up your own agenda
There is nothing left but God.

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .

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