Thoughts after the earthquake…

“If you go about looking for a God to fill your own ‘God-shaped void’ inside your heart, you will end up with a ‘void-shaped God'”.

Not sure where I have seen that quote before (It may be a paraphrase). But I find myself thinking about that a lot these days when I watch the latest news coverage of the Sichuan earthquake.

As I watch the incredible devastation and the loss of lives, it occured to me that surely, if there is a God, His agenda is bigger than sqeezing Himself into the “void’s” of different shapes and sizes in each human’s heart.

Perhaps the point of a life of faith or a life of calling isn’t so much in looking for God to fill the “God-Shaped Vaccum” inside my heart, but for me to look for the “Alfred-Shaped Vaccum” in this world. A need, a space, that God is looking for me to uniquely fill….

4 thoughts on “Thoughts after the earthquake…

  1. I find the “prodigal son” comment condescending, inappropriate and judgemental…who are we to judge Ah Lam’s personal relationship with God?

  2. I don’t know much about philosophy. Am not too sure if the difference between “God-shaped void” and “Anonymous-shaped vacuum” is worth losing sleep over. All I know is that we are all uniquely created! “You know me exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something….all the stages of my life were spread out before you.” (Psalm 139) God calls us to be different vessels to bring glory to Him. Some are called into full-time ministries and others into ministering through their vocation whatever it may be. God has a plan for every individual. We are all different and unique in the sight of God. We maybe asking for stone when we need to ask for bread, but He, being all wise, could send us bread in the form of stone since He’s all merciful and loving. The most important thing is to “abide in Him, and He’ll guide you each step of the way”. Who are we to judge that someone is a “Prodigal son”?? Nobody can live another’s life. Everybody has to answer to His creator at the end of the day. Yes, our life indeed is just a part of His story!

    You’re still in my daily prayers!!

    Sibling wannabe

  3. Perhaps there is a fundamental difference in worldviews that are reflected in my original post and the previous comment. The comment seemed to suggest (as least from my understanding of it) 2 different and separate “entities” at work here: There is “God’s work”, and then there is “us”. And we can only be “part of God’s work” if we “go back to Him for renewal”. What if our lives and God’s work are not independent of each other? What if God “work” is a narrative of creation-redemption that is very much woven in and through our lives, with all our up’s and down’s?

    I know in my own experience, since I left the church, I have become, in some ways much more sensitive to the way I am participating in God’s work through my work in a non-religious setting. I don’t feel a sense of need to “return to God”, I don’t echo with being a “prodigal son”. Rather, on my clearer thinking days, I believe God is perhaps doing something actively, but mysteriously in my life in writing a new page in my life’s narrative, which is woven in the greater narrative of redemption for this world. Rather than “waiting for me to return” so I may be “part of God’s plan again”, I believe God is actively writing my story, and moving my story forward, all the time being part of His story, His narrative, His work.

  4. The earthquake in Sichuan displayed the power of God through nature. It shows how small and insignificant we are. I was sad about the lost of life and the suffering of the survivors. I did a small part in a fund raising event and donated some money for the relieve effort. Yet I felt so empty (void).

    Back to my understanding about voids and vacuum. I agree that there is a God-shaped void in our heart that only God can fill and satisfy our longing. But I respectfully disagree that God leaves vacuums in the world for our shapes to fill. God does not need us to do His work. If we do not follow our calling, He would raise another to carry on the work. God’s plan will not suffer because we do not do our part. Although He would very much want us to participate in His plan. So let us go back to Him for renewal, and be part of God’s plan again. God the father is waiting patiently for the prodigal son’s return.

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