God Shaped Spaces

So, my friends, how is your week going? Over here? Well. In addition to the province-wide lockdown and three kids trying to do school from home, the internet decides to crash and burn today, so no one got much done. Parents and teachers are frustrated. My grocery bill is creeping up now that the teenagers are home full time. Our work week has been a crazy-filled mix of Covid restrictions and further precautions…simply adding to the stress. Cases are going up but we are hearing of friends getting shot up (with vaccines that is). Apparently we are in a virus hotspot… or we have too many friends that are old. My house is slightly disastrous as I’ve been trying to catch up on housework, but a persistent sniffle held me back from regular tidying and sent me into panic mode (Do I get tested? Will that inflict a forced isolation on my only remaining co-worker? How many different medications are you allowed to take together to prevent a cold?) Not to mention the puppy is still as crazy as ever and is still sneaking things off the counters. And then, yes, and then…. while dutifully brushing my teeth and flossing well before bed one night last week… boom! a giant chunk of rock popped out of my tooth… an already paid for filling… now sitting in my hand! Thankfully the space left is not painful… just annoyingly present and causing me to aimlessly probe it with my tongue every few minutes. Why do we unconsciously do that when something goes awry in our mouths? It’s like our tongue has a mind of it’s own.

Yet, I am reminded that there are always blessings. Even when we are in the midst of chaos and upheaval … We have a good God who is in control and sees our day to day. We are blessed to still be working and earning steady incomes. The kids eat because we can fill the cupboards without worrying. Our little urban garden seedlings are growing steadily… ready to sprout out in the big, wide world soon. I hear the spring birds call to each other every morning. And the dog is pretty cute most of the time. I really can’t complain about the stage I’m in. Many others are far worse off than our few “inconveniences”.

Still, as I was contemplating this week about how crazy this empty space is in my mouth, my mind began to wander a bit about how often we fill up our God shaped spaces in our hearts. I’ve heard it said that we have a “God shaped” space in the depths of our hearts where only the perfect puzzle piece fits. That puzzle piece is our relationship with our Creator. Like a little signature spot made just for the designer of a masterpiece (that’s you and me, by the way). It’s like this hole in my tooth: we probe it with our mind-of-their-own tongues and unconsciously look for something to fill it with. Perhaps we look for relationships to fill the space. And how many relationships fall apart because they are not the right “fit?” Or wealth? Or the pursuit of education, or keeping up appearances, or fighting for justice, or who knows. So many of us have gapping holes we know need filling, but the fillings eventually just become another hunk of rock and fall out, leaving a blank space.

And so, as I think about all the craziness that has gone on in our house in the last few weeks, and share it here with you, I’m sure you have your own stories to add. Perhaps, like me, you will be graciously reminded that there is a perfect little spot in your heart for God to move into. And once He settles in, you’ll notice a little bit of peace starts penetrating through the darkness of Covid and lockdowns and the crazies of life. He shines a little light in, just enough for you to focus on the blessings each day. Which makes me smile. A filling-less toothy smile, that will have to be fixed soon. Take a number, dentist.