I've never felt fulfilled in my life, although I have had moments, days, and even weeks that appeared so. I thought that if I just sought God harder, dove into His Word more adamantly, I would finally get the questions of my heart answered. But God doesn't promise self-fulfillment here on earth, as my Old Testament teacher reminded us on Friday. And finally, I felt my soul say, Yes, it is well. Finally something was answering its scream with, "You weren't meant to!" I am outrageously blessed and at times I'm filled with joy that can only come from the spiritual realm, but still something haunts me. Something evades my senses and threatens me with its chill. Just like the love that I lost last year.
St. Augustine describes in Confessions how he nailed his heart to a person, and when that person backed up, it stretched his heart so far that it broke. Who gave us these nails? Maybe it was God. Maybe these nails were meant to bring us to Him but our sin corrupted our actions. No, though. I don't think God gave them to us. We don't need nails to bind our wandering hearts to the Maker of them--we need trust, that which ebbs and flows with each circumstance but remains steadfast. I think our enemies give us nails. Culture says fulfillment is to be had. The ones who want us to love them manipulate us into thinking we need them, and we sometimes become their slaves. The enticement of security and certainty beckons from a distance, saying who can take out these nails once you've pierced them? And we laugh when we find out that it was partially true, that our heart broke instead. There's a morbidity to it, what we do to ourselves, what we let our enemies do to us. But we think it's all there is. We think we've found the answer to life even though we can't hold it long enough to know for sure.
Even when we find an answer, we want a different one, or we want more questions so we can find more answers. We can only be satisfied with what is infinite and eternal. So let your heart be haunted this Christmas season, let it hunger and thirst for that which is eternal--resting at the fountain of Living Water all of us crazy Christians talk about. It's not a promise of complete fulfillment because in this life we only catch glimpses of what is to come. But it is a promise of restoration, of redemption, of beauty, and most ontologically, of TRUTH.
My heart has been left aching in search, but it aches now instead for what is good and noble and pure. I'll leave you with my own meditation, a future marriage mirror of mine that reflects the very fiery passion of my soul that seeks the most Wild Lover in all of history.
i focused on our foot steps, the soft patting of our worn soles against the gravel. so much peace, so much security. i have this smile. this particular smile. but it only comes out when i feel like everything is right, when the bad fades into this part of myself that i’m no longer in touch with. well, there is no time when everything is right, just when it feels right. when my soul is longing for this guy they called jesus but at the same time, it’s so full. so full. we continue walking. he leads the conversation. i think back to another.
i like when the girl talks, he had said. because i never really have much to say. and if she doesn’t say anything, then it’s awkward, and i don’t like it.
no, he’s not. no. he has things to say. he has people to love. he has places to see. he has a world in his heart and his mind that he’s ready to explore. we sit down under a tree. our tree. the one with the weeping branches that sways so smooth. we like the drooping branches, the ones that look heavy but yet yell this lightness, this air of softness, of strength. i don’t lean against him. i don’t have to. i want to, with the want of the world, but something stops me. this tug on my heart. it pulls. to gaze upon someone who finds his strength from the maker of that tree that we call ours. what longing we find there. but this longing isn’t of the world. he knows that. we know. so there’s no need for touch, for treasure to become temptation. more power exists in the patience, a power we are both enslaved to. it frees us. it frees us to know this power we don’t possess is surrounding us in the sways so smooth, in the wind that whips my hair from my face, in his eyes where such intention lies. i think back to another.
to be in the way of his intention rather than the intent of his intention. oh the difference! to be talked to, but no, not as an equal, as a means to mention something memorable. school, he had said, home he had said, surface talk.
the subconscious, he said, the supernatural. these things which we think about, that make up the substance. the majesty of the arts...books, poems, lyrics. together, under the sways so smooth we silence our souls. to know, to be known is to know the lord. the only lord. we submit. we sink into the earth. he smiles at me and says i’m captivating, i love to love the lord in you, he said, i love to love the mind in you, i love to love that smile. that particular smile, he said. knowing that i can never put it there alone. i think back to another.
he didn’t try to make me smile. he didn’t care. he was there. yea, he was there. he saw me. yea, he saw the outside of me. he didn’t care to know more. he was a godly man, he liked sunday service. punctual. consistent. he will provide someday, he will. he’s a moral man. don’t try to impress them, i had said. they already like your face, your features. they like your lackadaisical lay, your casual way. they don’t need the mind, they have the eye.
what’s it mean, he asked, to turn water to wine. what’s it mean to have an undivided heart, neither hot nor cold. o church of Laodicea! why do we not think about the way we think or sit together, together, under the sways so smooth and not awe at his majesty, his might, his mason jar. i want to travel the world with you, he said, i want to travel, and taste, to be tangential. and touch, to touch your skin on our wedding night. i want to love your imperfections, to wipe your hair away from your tear-smeared face, to get frustrated with you, to fear how you know me, he said. but, this want, this want comes from what’s good and pure and lovely and admirable. with you, darling, i want to serve the maker of that tree we call ours, he says. all the days of my life.