As I bring my gift, shame sometimes still creeps in, taunting me with its jabs, “It’s such a poor gift. Can’t you find anything better than this to offer a King?”
I ignore the voice and offer my gift anyway, the gift that in this moment is all I have to give: all of my longing, my emptiness, my helplessness.
The Gracious One reminds me of another woman who gave him all of her nothingness, her entire poverty. He received it as a gift of everything.
In this upside-down kingdom, it is not fullness, independence, sufficiency which the King seeks, but emptiness. Acceptance of our own inability.
“Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.” (Simone Weil)
It is grace itself which makes this void.
It is grace that lets us feel the truth of our smallness.
“Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It is grace that fills our smallness with his greatness.
“My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And it is grace that reminds us again and again that our emptiness is not a shameful gift, not a last resort because we have nothing “better” to offer, but the very thing God most wants—because he who delights to bless in the most extravagant ways wants to fill us with himself.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit (or as I’ve often heard Darrell Johnson paraphrase, “Blessed are those who know they do not have what it takes”) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
An edited repost from the archives