Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Deeper Craving

From Rebecca Solnit:  "To live entirely for oneself in private is a huge luxury, a luxury countless aspects of this society encourage, but like a diet of pure fois gras it clogs and narrows the arteries of the heart.  This is what we are encouraged to crave in this country, but most of crave more deeply something with more grit, more substance."  (Hope in the Dark: Untold Stories, Wild Possibilities)

This gets to the heart of the challenge facing those of us who live in affluent North American communities.  This culture teaches us to anxiously secure the material well-being of our selves and our families, leaving little time or energy to nurture this deeper craving, a craving we often ignore or anesthetize. We fear acknowledging this craving because it leads us on pathways of risky love and connection that will not leave us unchanged, and may just break our hearts.

My prayer for you today is that you will allow yourself to acknowledge this deeper craving, and have the courage to let it take you places you may fear to tread; for when our desire pushes us through our fear we enter paradise and discover the fullness of joy of which Jesus speaks.  This joy is not found in private luxuries, but in the realization and nurture of our profound connection to God, the earth, each other and our own bodies.  It is found in our common struggle for the common good.

Rather than be afraid, Rebecca Solnit urges us to be astonished every day, echoing the cry of the angels whenever they appear to us.  It is this sheer joy at being alive in a lively world that provides the energy for our participation in the Beloved Community being realized on earth as it is in heaven. Activism without joy is a sign of disconnection from our deepest craving; it will bear no fruit.

Let us be astonished.  Let us be joyful.  Let us realize our deeper craving for a world that is so much larger and more wonderful than the private, little hells that we create.

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