As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
~from Psalm 42
Empty and filled,
like the curling half-light of morning,
in which everything is still possible and so why not.
Filled and empty,
like the curling half-light of evening,
in which everything now is finished and so why not.
A root seeks water.
Tenderness only breaks open the earth.
This morning, out the window,
the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.
~Jane Hirschfield from “Standing Deer”
Most days, at some point, I start feeling thirsty.
Not for water, which, living in the northwest, I’m fortunate to have close by at almost any moment.
Not for alcohol, which puts me to sleep and makes me too fuzzy to function after a couple of swallows.
Not for milk which was all I ever drank growing up on a farm with three Guernsey cows that produced more than a family of five could possibly consume in a day.
No, I’m ashamed to admit I thirst for a Starbucks mocha. With whip.
No, I didn’t give it up for Lent. I acknowledge it is not truly thirst I am feeling but only a desire. I’m not panting and dehydrated. This is a want rather than a need. I will not die without my mocha.
Like any psychological (or physical) addiction, it just feels as if I might.
Instead I should thirst daily for God with the same visceral fervor and singlemindedness. If I could dive into His word daily and savor it like I do my mocha, I would be much less fluffy in stature, and much more solid in faith.
This psalm reminds me of my constant thirstiness and how no mocha, no glass of water, indeed nothing of this earth will truly slake it. I must wait to meet the Lord to know what it feels like to no longer thirst and no longer want, and then all needs, indeed all desires, are fulfilled.
“You have made us for Yourself, and we cannot find rest until we find it in You.”
During this Lenten season, I will be drawing inspiration from the new devotional collection edited by Sarah Arthur —Between Midnight and Dawn