It used to be that the gaps between us were small. Even the ones we tried so hard to make a drama of, even those were small. Now, the world is filled with the echos of a generation of quiet, stubborn voices who refuse to hear, refuse to speak in a way that can be heard.

My eyes follow the shoreline as far as I can see before blinking and I worry that even the space between my tiniest conviction and a modicum of understanding has become a vortex and no longer a gap at all.

Did you know that nature abhors a vacuum? The space we make out of anger, resentment, misunderstanding, disappointment Isn’t empty for long. Before we are aware, the cracks become real estate wide enough to separate hands reaching for one another in the middle of the night. Nature gives us more of what it thinks we are asking for…and more sadness and isolation fills in.

Laying in bed I used to imagine who might be praying for me for one reason or another. I would wonder if there was some mystical “ism” that would activate when I prayed for someone, that would in that instant, inspire them to pray for me. 

Here I am in this needy season. A woman who has prided herself on being both vulnerable and private, sharing my heart with authenticity but not necessarily with complete transparency. 

What part of you is withheld and for what reason? 
Have you wondered that perhaps these quiet corners that we keep all to ourselves are the very ones that may bless others the most?

Here is what I am marveling in—Without asking, there are those who have stepped into the void that my body has created and they have exclaimed, “I will pray.” The one thing that has been more surprising than my current circumstance is the seeming compelling for those who commune regularly with the Creator of the Universe to fall headfirst into the vortex on my behalf. On. My. Behalf.

Never doubt that God abhors a vacuum more than nature. 
To fill the gap he will call his people to pray. 

Perhaps it is my nature, or more likely it is God’s that brings this overarching sense that those who agree to stand in the gap are as blessed…maybe even more so…by the unbridled, arms-raised petitions of one troubled spirit on behalf of another. 

“God, my sister needs you!” 

The territory of emptiness is widening. I can feel it and I know you can too.  But then God’s people pray. “Father, my friend is hurting.” “Lord, my daughter is falling away.” “Papa, my own daddy is drawing near to the end.”

The supplication of an earnest heart is the water flowing into the empty river bed. The parched spirit drinks in as the words fall out. “Bless her.” And the quiet speech-giver, who speaks a thousand words without moving his or her lips is perfectly content with an audience of one—

Father God, you are the gap-filler. 
And even when we are at a loss for words, you cover the meaning with a lyric of your own writing. And then your chorus comes like a river. 

When we fail one another…and we will fail one another…let that be the time when we pray the prayer that refuses to make space.  
Instead, let the intimate whispers spoken under our breath while we walk the dog or drive the car be the life-givers and eternity-makers for someone we may never meet or hardly even know.

We are called to the gap. Let the water of our petitions flow. 

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