This evening our city is hosting a meeting to discuss ways to resolve the problem of abandoned properties. (http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/marion_county/vacant-homes-a-danger-for-indy) Last fall a list was published that had Indianapolis ranked as the second “emptiest” city in the United State in terms of abandoned properties: http://www.wthr.com/story/15976887/indianapolis-near-top-of-emptiest-us-city-list. In spite of all the positive headlines this city received over the winter by hosting the Super Bowl, this statistic leaves a dark shadow. It speaks of loss. It speaks of a void that is not being filled.
I can’t help but think of the spiritual implications of such a shadow. An empty city speaks of more than empty houses. Each of the houses that is empty speaks of a family that is now missing from their community for whatever reason. Those around are left to wonder what happened to the family across the street. Sometimes they know, but not always. Children lose contact with classmates. Perhaps, a school loses a volunteer.
It also speaks to me of a greater emptiness. Though I live in a very religious city, I see many who have a spiritual emptiness that shows through all appearances. We feel empty and then fill the void with what will never satisfy. So, we seek out more things to fill that void. In our part of the city many of the empty homes are remnants of the search for the most space for the dollar. The quest for more sometimes costs us everything.
So I live in an “empty” city, but I pray that it will be filled again. Filled with purpose. Filled with Divine Presence. Filled with a realization of completeness found only in union with Our Creator and nothing else.