“When an impure spirit leaves a man, whilst his inner being is still weak, then the spirit roams through waterless places, seeking rest and not finding it. Then he says: I will return to the dwelling which I have left. When he comes to this dwelling, he finds it cleansed and adorned. Then he goes and brings seven spirits who are even worse than himself; and they enter and dwell in that man. And in the end it is worse for the man than before.” (Luke 11)
In the natural world there is no such thing as a space devoid of air – a vacuum. There are no empty spaces at all. Everything is filled. When matter moves to a different place or state – maybe the core of a tree rotting away, the sea eroding the land or something as simple as us emptying a glass of water – something else is there instantly to replace it. A void space will fill with water, with air, with light, or with any other available substance.
If we want to experience a place that is empty, at times we have to look no further than our own souls. We can be devoid of spirit, of meaning and of purpose. We crave to have our souls filled. We can be like barren wastelands waiting for the water. When we become aware of the emptiness in us, we have to ask ourselves: What do we let inside? What will replace the emptiness? Do we let the outside world rush in, as it is prone to do, like air rushes into a broken vacuum or like a substance filling up a vacated space? Or do we choose carefully, as much as we are able to, what we expose ourselves to, what we let inside the dwelling that is our soul?
In the end the question is: Do we look toward the darkness or do we look toward the light? “The light of the body is your eye. And when your eye is clear and pure, the life of your whole body will be illumined; but if your eye is clouded, then the life of your body, too, will be full of darkness. Therefore take care that the light is not turned into darkness in you.” (Luke 11)
This contemplation by Rev. Contreras was inspired by Luke 11.