“Come and fill this place.” The man at the altar spoke the words to the Spirit on a Sunday morning in church. I sat in the pew, eyes shut and head bowed. This plea from the pastor for God to fill the walls of the sanctuary and the walls of our hearts, might have breezed past others. But the words “come” and “fill” were two hands on my shoulders to shake me awake from sleepwalking through prayer.
Perhaps I heard my voice that whispers in his voice that booms. For these two words, “come” and “fill” have been both the bookends and the substance of my own quiet prayers. Would you come, God? Would you fill me, God? It is my plea as much as it is His promise. I have sat in groups, in pairs, and alone to pray. I’ve heard the prayers of others that arise from the hidden corners of their souls, prayers of eloquence, depth and length.
Yet, I search my own soul corners and all that I am able to pull out are these two, meager words, simple but full of wonder. “Come” and “fill.” Sometimes these words are drenched in peace, and other times they are drenched in panic. But always, my Amen is saturated in Spirit.
I keep searching and seeking for reverent words to knit into prayers to offer to God, prayers more full of color and depth. Yet as I look around inside my soul, I find only the empty space that remains from such a loss that hollows. So again I pull out my words, just the two of them, and offer them back to God. Here in the emptiness, my words reverberate. Here in the hollowness, my prayer resonates. Come, God. Fill, God.
Only in the hollow can two whispered words bounce off of soul walls and through empty space, to be amplified into a boom. Only in the empty can two words echo and string together to form a round of praise. And only by scrubbing the soul’s bare floor, searching for more to give, could He allow such dregs to become such depth. It is my plea as much as it is His promise, simple and full of wonder. I sigh an Amen, as the words echo on and on throughout my hollow halls, while He comes and He fills, and the Spirit saturates.