He began with obvious relish, “She was the most beautiful woman I have ever known. But her physical beauty paled in comparison with her spirit. I had been searching for something, someone, to fill the void that had existed inside me my entire life. To my mind, she would fill that void.”
His eyes sparkled and he looked off into the rainy darkness as if he could see the subject of his story. “What I didn’t know” he continued, “is that she couldn’t fill the void in my heart. What I didn’t know is that I had a Christ-shaped hole in my heart that I had been trying to fill with things… and people. What I didn’t know was that until Christ filled that void, I would never be complete.”
“She prayed for me, she was patient with me, she loved me far more than I deserved. She was the living embodiment of Christ in my life. Finally, I asked Christ to fill that void. Finally I was whole. I had been running from one place to another, from one person to another up until then. Once I gave up control to Christ, there was no reason to run anymore.”
He smiled a crinkly smile at the bruised young woman. She wasn’t sure he’d even noticed. He noticed. The smile never wavered as he touched her shoulder, “Thank you for listening” he said, a little more somberly. Then he straightened up, shuffled around, and started back toward his truck. He paused, turned back toward her and said, “Think about my story, won’t you?” The young woman nodded without saying a word and felt tears starting for no reason she could think of.
She watched the old man shuffling off into the rain and darkness . He was a dark silhouette against the headlights in her rear view mirror. As she watched another silhouette came from the darkness carrying an umbrella. The other person put an arm around the old man and held the umbrella over both of them. They got into the truck and the lights slowly dimmed as the truck backed away. She kept waiting for the truck to pass her on the roadway but it never did. Perhaps they turned around.
The young woman looked again at her sleeping children in her minivan and turned and rested her head on the steering wheel. There were still tears on her cheeks as she whispered, “Jesus, I don’t know if you’re really there, but I have a hole in my heart…”