We all have what we might consider empty parts of our lives. These leave holes in our heart. I have friends and family who have lost children in the womb or shortly after birth. That loss leaves a hole in the heart that is carried for life. I have friends who have lost young children, teenagers, and even lost their children in the adult years. All of these leave empty spots, a hole in the heart carried for life. My wife and I can sympathize but not empathize with these, because we have not experienced the same. Yet, we too have a similar hole in the heart. We have no children. Ours was by choice due to health-related issues in our younger years. The empty spot, the hole in our heart is real and engenders similar emotions to those of our friends.
My wife, Pam, and I had the pleasure of visiting with friends in Tennessee this past weekend. We always enjoy their encouraging company. While this weekend was a busy, harried, and tiring one for our friends, she, suffering and awaiting surgery from a torn meniscus, he with a busy work schedule, we still had a great God-blessed time. Before we left the church parking lot Sunday to head home, I shared the following with our friends. My greatest, God moments for the weekend did not come through our friends but through their grandchildren.
When we arrived Friday evening a little after six o’clock, Rebecca, Pam’s best friend through junior and high school, was in a play area of their well-shaded side yard with her two grandchildren. The six-year-old granddaughter we had met before, we had not met the eighteen-month grandson. While we were talking and the kids were playing, I was leaning against a playset. I felt the little boy’s hand on the calf of my leg. He had reached through the playset to reach my leg. I guess realizing I was a real person, he came right away in front of me and looked up as if wanting to be picked up.
I lifted him up and he instantly laid his head on my neck and chest as if to find rest and security. It made me melt. His grandmother stood up from her seat on a swing and captured the moment in a photo. Perhaps, this would melt any heart, but to someone who has no children or grandchildren, I realized it as an act from God, stating, “I know the hole in your heart. I have you, you are my child.”
I had a similar experience with his six-year-old sister the next day as we took her home and said good-bye. More than the words she said, “Good-bye George” was the voice tone and inflection and the look in her eyes. Once again, instantly I realized the voice of God with the same message, “I know. You are my child and I fill the hole in your heart.”
We all have areas in our lives that seem empty, leaving a hole in the heart. God is the only source that can fill that hole and take away the emptiness. I do not live in depression for not having children because I have a God, a risen Savior who fills the hole, the emptiness with love and compassion. If you do not know God in a personal, intimate way, let me encourage you, try Him. He alone can fill the emptiness of any heart. And sometimes he’ll use an eighteen month or six-year-old child to say, “I know, and I love you.”