Saturday, October 25, 2014


I didn't intend to write about something like this today. But as I walked back from work at Plum Market today, a heart-sick feeling began to swell inside, and it only seems right to let words flow from that sense of longing.

Longing for what? Nothing specific today. I don't long to be somewhere else, or do anything in particular.

You could call it Sehnsucht, I suppose.

In one of the books I read for a class earlier this semester, this word often used by C.S. Lewis is described like this..."when we have [Sehnsucht], we are seeking union with something from which we are separated... we look at a green valley and want to crawl under its covers. We think of a happy home and want to dwell int its center. We keep wanting to 'get back' or 'get in'" (Cornelius Plantinga).

Plantinga goes on to say, "what's remarkable is that these longings are unfulfillable". Nothing on this earth will finally satisfy us. Augustine pondered this longing as well and said that what humans want is God. Jesus prays "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:21). Jesus too knows that all that we want is to be "in God". We want what lies behind all the good things in life; we want to be in Him.

Wonderful things like the glow of warm sun that wakes you up in the morning, or its setting in the evening "point us beyond the things of earth to the ultimate reality of God" (Plantinga). Beauty stirs up this longing for what's "beyond".

This longing is fulfilled in the Lord. Not completely though yet, because Christ has not returned to redeem creation, though one day we will be completely united with Him.

So why does this longing not go away when we trust Christ? Just because we know who the object of our longing is now doesn't mean that longing disappears. If anything, it intensifies.

Of course I want to be with Him and to know Him even more. This longing that He gives us is meant to produce in us hope. Through studying Scripture more and more, we will find that what the Lord has in store for those who have believed in Him is beyond our understanding. And so, we live in His love and mercy and goodness each day here, and continue to hope for the age to come when all will be complete and whole.

Also, I feel like I should add a bit of what reality looks like these days: always homework, projects, 2 jobs, lots of things to remember, balancing life, sweet times with friends, cold days and then warm days, and getting ready to sign up for classes next week. 

1 comment:

  1. Such a sweet, thoughtful post Claire. Yes, I have those kinds of days too so I know what you're talking about. Glad you know where to turn when you're feeling that way! I do wish I could at least give you a week-end at home and just love on you here! Some baking, sipping cups of coffee, good home cooked food, a little shopping trip thrown in there, a few snuggles with Kaylee...that's what I'd give you if you were at home! :)


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