The Emptied Cup — a poem



“Cups” by Bsivad is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


The Emptied Cup

By Jane Tawel

July 18, 2020



I felt a great need to share something,

Encouraging, hopeful, or good.

And I racked my mind and rummaged my heart,

And kept telling myself that I should

Find a quote or a saying that would lift people up,

But I found when I looked: there was naught in my cup.



You know that cup? –the one we all drink from,

That carries our feelings and all that we think of

The world and the people and what might be “out there”;

The cup of our hopes, and our dreams, and our doubts here.

But my cup was plain empty – not a sludge or a dross,

And I asked myself, “Why should I give a darn toss?

No one needs me to rise to this challenge.

No one needs me to weigh into the balance,

Between good and evil, or fear and hope;

I’m obviously empty. I’m one big dumb dope!”

So, I took my cup into my closet and moped.



I sat in the dark and licked at my bruises,

And felt sorry for me with no insights or muses.

But then a small voice, like the first drop of rain,

Asked me to look in my cup, once again.

And I saw that my cup was still empty and clean,

And I said to the voice, “what the snap do you mean?”



The Voice said quite faintly, “Dear child, don’t you see?

When your cup is quite empty, I can fill it with Me.”



And I realized that only by draining my cup,

Of the self-centered dregs that had filled my soul up,

Could I let the world’s true needs and hungers be shorn of,

All the fears, hates, and selfishness hollows are born of.

And only when I know how empty I am,

Can my cup then be filled by the wise Son of Man

Who taught us to drink from true worth’s living spout,

That is found only when we pour ourselves all out.



It was only when I learned that I’d always fail,

If I thought my small cup was some great holy grail.

And I’m happy today, to report “I got nothin’

To pour in your ears; or your minds to be stuffin’

With beauty or glory or humor or thinking,

I can’t share any nectar the gods’ have been drinking.

I just have this void vessel with nothing inside,

But the good news is it has been drained of my pride.

So, it’s ready for you to fill with your own needs,

Your fears and your longings, your joys and your deeds.

Today with an empty cup I have been christened,

As a chalice who finally can just love and listen.

For that is how my empty cup will be full,

Of the things that will last in an eternal soul.




There is an old poem about cups running over,

And living with joy in green pastures forever.

My cup runneth over. No evil I’ll fear,

And Your goodness and mercy will to me, be near.

A table’s before me, Your Way will I go,

And with Love and with Peace, my cup will overflow.

Published by

Jane Tawel

Still not old enough to know better. I root around and explore ideas in philosophy, spirituality, poetry, Judeo-Christian Worldview, family, relationships, and art. Often torn between encouragement & self-directed chastisement, I may sputter, but I still keep trying to move forward.

24 thoughts on “The Emptied Cup — a poem”

    1. Pastor Mike Weber — Thank you so very much. I so appreciate your kind words because of your many long years and beautiful posts of pouring yourself out for the very thing and for He whom we were all created for. Thank you so much, Jane

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautifully expressed, Jane! Love your word artistry. My cup runneth over with joy that our paths crossed and our souls danced! (((Hugs)))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Abi/The Wild Pomegranate: Thank you so very much for your kind words. It means a lot coming from someone as wise about The Way and as knowledgeable about G-d’s Word and the Psalms. Oh, yes, such joy to have our paths cross and to be a part of The Great Dance with you. Hugs back at ‘cha — Jane

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wanted to let you know I’m over at my old blog which I started in 2007! It has been dormant for many moons, but was once a gathering place for a close-knit tribe of women and men. The old RTC tribe has long since vanished from blogland, but it’s deeply nostalgic and liberating place for me. I felt strongly called to reopen it. Right now, it just feels like where I need to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (((Hugs))) It’s a different side of me, but a side that kept me nourished during some serious health crises and very tough times in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing the poem. It is a cup I can so relate , & I think many of your readers will too. Life can be empty sometimes, it can be painful , disheartening, lonely. Even if it seems we have everything, it still feels nothing and it’s because we try to fill is the cup of this world that will never be satisfied. It’s only when we offer our cup to God, & let him be the source of our joy and blessings when it’s starts to overflow. We stop worrying . We start to feel content, at peace, blessed. 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Island Traveler: Thank you for your wisdom in this comment. I fill my cup with so much junk — junkie thoughts, junkie worries — as you say it is so dissatisfying. My own “junk” crowds out God’s gifts of joy and peace that he wants to fill all of us with. Thank you for the encouragement. Shalom to you and yours today, Jane

      Liked by 1 person

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