Morning breaks, still night. My house sleeps while I move about my morning rituals. Thirty-five minutes and I’m out the door. Alone and dark. Radio songs keep me awake. Faint shifts of dark to light break the horizon. All at once, rays spread fingers. This spring, the fingers have been pink more often than usual.
Duty moves me on and carries my through my days. I am loved and am full of love, but something rings hollow. A thing I can’t quite put my finger on.
Always the paradox, I seek both the struggle and the release. The thing rising up in me that needs my attention and the thing at peace within that says “enough is enough”.
Four hours later, house now empty, I return. Books and study and coffee and dishes. Mundane but necessary. And the thing I can’t put my finger on is still there. It twists in my soul like the hunger in my belly that comes around noon. Slow but persistent. Asking to be acknowledged. Asking to be sifted.
Hours tick like a metronome of my life. One gone, two gone, four gone, and then ten. Bed, sleep, rise, work, eat, converse, rest. And again. Hours turn to years so quickly. And the sands run thin through my hourglass.
What is this thing deep down that keeps tugging? Keeps gnawing? Haven’t I made those big changes that I thought would settle that restless hunger? Haven’t I started writing a different story? So what is it?
Friends and weekends and new walls to decorate. Seasons leaving, making way for seasons coming. Things that bring me delight. And yet, the delight is… less. Not because I have stopped loving the things wired into my senses to sting and zing my heart like a summer strawberry eaten warm, straight off the vine. But because something else has begun to wake. Something else has begun to stir.
Something deeper. Something quieter. Something a little less showy and at the same time, infinitely heavier. Something ethereal.
Hot water from the shower head pours down on me. The burn bringing my nerve sensations to a crescendo. My hands run over the inches of my skin. All of the inches of me. Except the inches of me that I can’t touch. I wonder at the smallness of everything that contains me. All that I’ve been and everything I’ve wanted. All the hurting and all the healing. All the years and all the stories. All the everything that makes up the full story of this person is contained here in this skin that stands barely over five feet.
Moments when glory breaks through my thoughts and lifts me out of what is into What Really Is.
Cinnamon buttered coffee and a good book. Stillness and peace. Moments for heart wracking introspection. Who is this whom I have become and who is she that I really want? Why have my longings – my even ability to long – grown so stagnant and so easily enticed by glittery things that fade as the grass of the field when the sun withers it?
Awake my soul.
Speak to me.
Words on a page. Ones written by someone else but mirror my own heart. My own struggle. My own hunt. My own hunger.
Eyes closed, head back, I understand now. You are what I keep looking for. Even when I think I’ve found you. Even when I think I’ve worked the knots straight out of my soul, I see that my human-condition scar tissue just keeps returning. Just keeps needing to be massaged out. I move through yet another cycle of this ceaseless hunger. This insatiable that will always remain insatiated.
I was made to long for the things of glory, not the things that so easily satisfy. I was made to ache for the unseen, not for the occasional bursts of happiness that pass more quickly than the bloom of spring’s first crocus.
Let my soul long again. Give me manic moments of glory. Feed my hunger on the things plain. Things right in front of me that whisper Your Story. Mundane and brimming with beauty. Quench my thirst on thanksgiving. Unscale my eyes and show me ten thousand gifts that you have laid before me in the most humdrum of places. And let me see You and not the thing I think it is. Happiness or heartache. Companionship or aloneness. Ritual or rife. Struggle or relief.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
As the deer pants for streams of water, make my soul to pant for You. Why are you downcast, oh my soul? Why so disquieted within me? Put your hope in God; praise Him who is your hope and your God.