The Only Lodger Who Can Afford to Fill Our Vacancy

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We are born with a vacancy to fill. We can’t bear its emptiness. God sends us helpers throughout our life to find the right tenant, but our adolescent spirits start out wanting to fill this space by ourselves.  Eventually we realize we’re not big enough for such an occupation, and it’s too costly to be a do-it-yourselfer while maintaining this void.  Problem is, we don’t know who or what we’re looking for to accomplish the needed fulfillment. We need help.

What we often don’t realize is, God is also looking for a home for His Spirit, as Eli taught Samuel.

Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19)

The space within us has already been purchased—and at a high price. But we are often afraid to invest a comparable sum to maintain it. Too much renovation work must be done. I can’t afford it—even if it’s built on solid rock and is above invasion by flood waters, we tell ourselves. We may grow to hate the wallpaper and dated layout we’ve struggled to live with, but eventually we get tired. We’ve let too many ghosts try filling and decorating our soul’s space for us. Nevertheless, we’re still haunted by our emptiness. We have lots of excuses to lock our door to the one Spirit who can comfortably fill it beyond capacity.

Paul helps us grow up and recognize opportunity knocking.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. (1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20)

We’re born to answer Paul’s question, but the world’s homeless ghosts keep fighting each other to fill our vacancy. Christ’s disciples started their search for fulfillment in earnest with John the Baptist, and thought they came close to finding their answer in him. But even John knew the solution to their emptiness had just arrived, and like a good realtor, he pointed the way to a win/win answer to their question.

“Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” (Jn 1:35-42)

Like them, we know the answer to that question when we see it. Let’s unlock our door to him while we’re here.

–Tom Andel


  1. It seems we are continually searching. We have unquenchable appetites for something. But we rarely if ever find what we are seeking. We continue to look in all the wrong places. What we search for we already possess, we just miss out. Swing and a miss!

    The Lord knows us. He has given us everything we need to be satisfied in this life on our journey to our ultimate destination. The Holy spirit, HIS spirit is in us from our baptism, but so easily ignored, taken for granted.

    In our search for fulfillment, Matthew Kelly reminds “we can never get enough of what we really don’t need.” Put another way by Saint Augustine, “our hearts will always be restless until they rest in Christ.”

    Our search will always come up empty untill we look that way!

    • We’re in an era where people are hesitant to open the door to strangers. Our loss of faith has made God unrecognizable in our lives and made us afraid to go out and search.

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