God wanted me empty, alone, silent and watchful

I watched ice form on the river outside my window one Sunday afternoon and felt loneliness more intense than any I could remember since childhood. The day had grown incredibly still -- so deep it seemed poised at the edge of eternity... Nearly empty, I could not hope to fill myself -- certainly not with human companionship -- and I began to sense that this was exactly as it should be. God wanted me empty, alone, silent and watchful. I was suffering from both sever laryngitis and a lame leg, and had to laugh at myself, wondering if I was really so dense that God had to resort to these extremes in order to get me to shut up and be still.

~ from THE CLOISTER WALK by Kathleen Norris