I know there are people for whom longing is a stranger. This is not for them. This is for those of us whose hearts are hungry for more than anyone can give, who have tried to be content with less, and who are simultaneously exhausted and defiant in the pursuit of – of what?
What is it that so hauntingly stirs us? Though our intellects scold us when fragments of a 70’s song awaken it during a commercial, though we dismiss it as just practical ideas when we scroll through dreamy images on Pinterest or Tumblr or whatever, something inside is caged and responding to music and visuals drifting by as if they are familiar scents from a freedom we somehow lost and no longer remember….
So you look at your spouse just a few feet away, and you feel as if a trip to Mars would be easier achieved than reaching their heart. And darkness under your skin whispers that if they cared at all, they would know that your soul is shriveling up like a dying desert plant and the water of their affection could make you flourish, but no. They’re too selfish to care, it hisses.
Or you’re scanning the room of your life, and it seems everyone else is hand in hand; everyone else is special to someone, but you.
Or you’re with your friends, and you keep swallowing the shame for feeling that something is still missing. Is it loneliness? These are your people and you appreciate them and you would never ever want them to know the sad shadow that refuses to leave you alone.
“If you find yourself with a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, then the most probable explanation is that you were made for another world.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Poetic, but what do we do with it?
When you are thirsty, you need water. But drinking the unfiltered affections or ambitions in this world is like drinking saltwater under a scorching sun. The more your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth, the more the melodic the glistening surrounding ocean sings to your need. And it’s toxic.
Equally, snuffing out the desire will dim your soul. We were made for another world. As the blue sea reflects the sky, so your thirst reflects the River of Life where satisfaction flows freely. Your longing for intimacy, significance, unbroken oneness is your soul crying out for the Heart, the source of Love, unpolluted, undiluted, undistracted – pure, passionate, and unashamed.
Direct your desire there! Cast it like an anchor behind the veil that hides the reality right here with us, unseen, powerful, and present. Not an abstract force or impersonal universe, but Mercy Himself.
The fiery sunsets here, the unbearably beautiful melodies, the sheer awe of life in a baby’s first laughter all express the full-blooded passion of our Creator who is Love, the Lover we so yearn for… And He is jealous for you because any part of your heart that isn’t His isn’t fully alive. And He died for that heart.
Not so you could live in the mediocrity of a fallen world, but so that He in you could transcend it the way a heart transplant pumps new life into an otherwise dying body. The way light pushes darkness away, the way kindness thaws a frozen soul.
So the longing inside is your receptor reaching for fertilization, your spirit signaling that it needs infusion of life it doesn’t process in itself. Like hunger leads us to food, like pain jolts us to remove the hand from a searing stove, so this melancholic yearning is designed to draw us to His presence.
Don’t rush past it.
In this fast-paced, multi-tasking, instant-messaging environment, it’s counter intuitive to unplug, even with Him. I know. Time is a tyrant I wrestle with daily, and “overwhelmed” is the most accurate adjective for me. It is because of this that I need eternity to penetrate. Right here, among the sirens and the phone calls and a million people’s voices, I need the music of Heaven most.
Can you hear it?
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “ Come!” And let him who hears say, “ Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” ~ Revelation 22:17