Creating Abundance: Something from Nothing

Author: Kate Schaber | | @kateschaber

When I hear the word Thanksgiving, I think of a table. I think of place settings, centerpieces, chairs crammed in tight.

I think of the clatter of noise, clinking of silverware and glasses, voices overlapping in laughter and tension and remarks of “oh, this is SO GOOD.”

I think of full bellies, elbows on tables, empty glasses and remnants of food being picked off serving plates.

I think of settled-into conversation, leaning back on chair legs, fidgeting with centerpiece decorations, folding and re-folding napkins while the discussion takes a more interesting turn. I think of pie arriving as a welcome reprieve, another chance to exclaim the GOOD-ness of holiday food and argue over the superiority of pumpkin or cherry or banana cream (instead of politics or religion or Uncle Bob who might crash the party).

All of this perfectly-messy, joyful scene screeches to a stop in my mind when I think of some other Thanksgivings I’ve had. For those, I think of quiet.

I think of two or three chairs around the table.

I think of invitations not received or given, of far too much food prepared.

I think of early evenings and laying in bed wondering if it will always be this way.

I think of the intimacy of the holidays, the almost embarrassing vulnerability of it all; how these months have a way of pointing out exactly what you do or do not have. Whether your bank account or your social circle are full, whether your family was able to recover from that tragedy or not, whether your life story has read to you “loved and surrounded” or “forgotten and alone”. I think of lacking, far more than I think of abundance.


But in the quiet I am reminded that the entire abundance of the earth was created in the midst of void. That from nothing-ness was brought life and light and beauty extravagant. That silence, lack, and absence are prime conditions for fullness, life, and vibrance to come about. I am reminded that I too am creative, like my Father God, and that I bear His image when I bring about beauty where there once was nothing.

Ex nihilo.

Something from nothing.

So in the depth of longing and of pain, there is room for more. There is the one thing that guides us through the dark, the whisper to keep going, the inspiration to make something beautiful with what little we have: there is hope.

Comments are open: Share with us how God has made something of the nothing you hold tight.

Whitney Parnell1 Comment