Hungry for more
An unquenchable thirst for God by Caleb Miaw
We often glimpse traces of her presence, fleeting but piercingly sweet moments where we experience wonder and joy, fulfillment and meaning. Our delight is equally momentary, though, and quickly fades into memory, leaving nothing but an unmistakable absence that awakens our hunger. And that sense of hunger shatters any illusion that what we presently have, whether good or bad, is enough or all that we want. It plants the flag of truth within the fortress of our soul – we might have otherwise remained “blissfully” unaware of our need. Thus roused from complacency, we begin our pursuit with purpose. But we are half-hearted creatures, far too easily pleased,
and when we weary of the chase, we turn to nostalgia and linger there, allaying ache with bittersweet memory. Even nostalgia betrays us though – for should we return to those glorious moments, we would find only her shadow, not her presence itself. While these reminders are fitting reflections of what we truly desire, they are not the thing itself, only the scent of a flower not yet found, the echo of a tune not yet heard. We must receive them gratefully, then, without mistaking them for what they suggest. We must never turn aside from our pursuit. We must press onward, keeping alive our desire and helping others to do the same. The Psalmist captured well this sensation of longing: “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” He was desperate for God. Burning desire had been kindled, and it led to the energetic expression of his inward longings. As the prisoner extends his hands when pleading for liberty, so did the Psalmist. As the ground cracks and opens its mouth in mute moaning, so did his soul break and groan. His thirst insisted upon being attended to; it was a perpetual longing not to be forgotten. No heavenly shower had yet refreshed him and, separated Fall 2012
Fall 2012 issue of The Williams College Telos. Theme: Hunger.