Retro: Void

In 1970 I was editor of Collegiate Challenge, a campus evangelistic magazine.  It was the height of the student revolution, and literature, flyers, pamphlets and newspapers were everywhere proclaiming the messages of the day. We began each issue of our magazine with a photo feature speaking to a hot issue.  I wrote the copy (though it is not my story), and Bob Cording did stellar photography.  The objective was to help open conversation with students.This is the third Retro post I will publish of my (very youthful) copy for one of the features.  I don’t have usable photos from our publication, so I have chosen another one.

Void.  by Judy Downs

That’s what I was.  An unfillable vacuum.  I wearied of my emptiness, or the unending loneliness, of having no reason for existing, of others looking into me and seeing nothing.

So I sought to be filled.I would find something to satisfy, I said.  Yes—some things.

I accumulated big things, pretty things, important things.  I placed these things inside, and one after another they disappeared, swallowed by that vacant void.Well, then, pleasure would satisfy me.  I would enjoy all the sex I wanted.

I indulged my desires, but that insatiable vacuum demanded more and more, until it became so stuffed it regurgitated all I had fed it.So I tripped out.  I felt full—of bright colors and bright thoughts.  High and happy.  But how the emptiness ached as the brightness dimmed.

A cause—that would do it!  A meaningful purpose—to help mankind, to alleviate suffering and sorrow.

Eagerly I dropped my cause into that enormous nothing within me.  Tink, tink, tink.  It bounced around inside and echoed in the emptiness.What about religion?  That should add a significant dimension to my life.

I wrapped myself in righteousness, certain of finding fulfillment.  But my holiness was as hollow as I was.

I despaired.  Would I be forever empty and lonely, always searching and never satisfied?

But wait—another person.  What better way to be fulfilled.  A person to love and share with and to be one with.  How beautiful!

But that person was as void as I, and emptiness added to emptiness made only more emptiness.

Then I met a Man.  He said He could satisfy my hunger and quench my thirst.

I took Him and placed Him in the void.  And He fit.  He filled me—with love, joy, peace, purpose, Himself.

He filled me so full I have overflowed, splashing love, joy, peace, purpose into every emptiness I encounter.

What about you?  With what have you tried to fill the emptiness? 

c 2014, 1971 Judy Douglass

Related posts:

Retro: Voices of Freedom

Retro: No Fear at All