Friday, October 14, 2005

The Big Hunger

Yesterday I read something about the Sand People of the Kalahari. In their cosmology there is something called the Big Hunger. The Big Hunger is far larger than the little hunger that tells us it's time to eat. It lies deeper than the stomach. I think we all have the Big Hunger.

I have this hunger. Sometimes the Big Hunger is a very Big Hunger, clenching my insides, driving me to God. Sometimes I actually go to God. But, sometimes I don't, and I stay hungry and wanting, and dying for God's presence.

I believe that if we hunger and thirst after righteousness we will be filled. I'm thankful that I see the fruits of righteousness in my life. My kids can be so good sometimes. They make me so proud of them, and people say to me things like, "I can't believe how good they were in church this morning". I think of those kind words are a gift. A grace, really. In those moments I feel a sense of being filled. But, it doesn't eradicate the Big Hunger. That stays around, insistent and daring me to even try to act like I'm content.

I think David, the psalmist, knew the Big Hunger. I think when he said he panted for the courts of the Lord that is what he was talking about. I've been thinking of that Big Hunger all day. I seem to be so hungry, and I keep trying to eat, but nothing seems to satisfy me. Crunchy, salty, sweet, fatty, it doesn't matter. I have all these tastes, but they don't fill. They fill my belly alright, but apparently I'm experiencing the Big Hunger in a Big Way. And I can't eat my way out of it.

Maybe, it's the fall. The season when the depression hits like a force of nature, and all the worst of my habits are magnified. I don't sleep at night. I eat too much. I have no energy. My mind races, or slows to a dull hum as if all my thoughts were reduced to being background noise.

Yesterday, was one of those days that I wished that I were in Heaven. I wished that I could spend a few minutes with Jesus, face to face, and not have to worry about the troubles of this world.

But, as loneliness for God goes, I've got it pretty good. Isn't that what the Eucharist is all about? There is that part of the Divine Liturgy that almost always makes me cry. We sing, "Lay aside all earthly things," and I can hear the haunting voices of my brothers and sisters, even now, as I think of it. Lay aside all earthly things, for in a moment, we will be transported, and the Holy Spirit will do this amazing thing, and suddenly, in the chalise, will be Christ. And we will partake of Him.

And for a while, He will fill us. Until we find ourselves back to our lives, working and playing and toiling and sleeping, and somehow we get through the week, until Friday night, when the Big Hunger stuns us with it's intensity.

Oh, Lord Jesus. Just a minute of your time. I'm so hungry, Jesus. I'm so very sad.



Bonnie Calhoun said...

That's very profound that you would say that you wished you were in heaven. I just left another blog, where the woman said the same thing.....

I wonder if you both are walking in the same annointing. You're both very intune with the Holy Spirit.

Kristine said...

My prayers are with you. Your remarks make me think of my two younger sisters. They both deal with extreme cases of depression. It runs in our family. October is always the worst month of the year for my sisters. They have made multiple suicide attempts and have been in the hospital off and on multiple times. At one point we were simply “on watch” at home. It’s wild when your silverware drawer only has spoons in it and yet everyone is adjusting as if this is normal. As bad as this sounds, I’d rather know that you have gained weight than to know that you have fallen into a bad place. And hopefully the weight gain doesn’t bring you down too much. My prayer is that the Lord would comfort you and wrap His arms around you at this time…
Take care. Peace be with you.

Rich said...

I hear ya. I have a very very rough go of it through the winter months. When the leaves fall, the temp cools, and the sky gets gray I struggle to keep my spirits up.

found ya through kristine and I'll be sure to keep up.

Be Blessed...

Larry said...

Big hunger... dark nights of the soul... God leaving us behind... signs of our fallen selves, fallen world.

Hunger has been turned into the stimulus for a mechanical act. Thirsty? Drink Coke, the ads say. Other ads suggest food as the cure for everything from depression to lack of friends. "Indulge. You deserve it." God stands on the sidelines, forgotten, as life speeds up in an ever more determined attempt to fill a hole too big for any person or any meal.

I don't really know much about the mechanics of faith. I'm not very faithful. I do know that God promised never to leave me nor forsake me and for a variety of reasons I believe him. I wonder about Mother Teresa's story. There are levels to awareness of God. Some involve fireworks, some are very quiet.

It's the quiet level that speaks to me. God really is there, even when I'm imitating a clam to avoid his touch.

The hunger is there because of how we're made. God is our Father, and no touch but his really matters very much. No human can fill in for him. And yet his touch burns because of what he wants. Perfection. He wants us to be like his Son, and that's what he's working toward. Whatever it takes.

olympiada said...

I always cry during the angelic hymn diva. And I too am experiencing the big hunger, but I know how to handle it: discipline.
Yep that's right, and, recovery, yep that's right, AA. I am so powerless. And powerlessness is a beautiful thing. The admission of powerlessness is the most beautiful thing a human being can do. It let's God in.
I too was looking to heaven today...I too often wish to be with God. But I can not. That would be selfish. I have my daughter and my community. So I suffer. Some of us are called to suffer. All of us suffer...We should not eat to cover the suffering.

Dee said...


I've been thinking about my relationship with God, been talking to him about it. i need to let him take over and carry my burdens this week, because i have been consumed with my responsiblities as a mother and provider. my novel that i'm writing deals with the same issue. i thought by the time i completed it i would have learned her lesson. yet i pick my burdens back up again. and i'm so tired now that i have to take rest breaks just to clear my head before selah comes home from school. i don't want to be depressed. i want to get through this, but i'm tired of struggling and i'm tired of feeling this way when so many people are struggling worse than i.
i have no more money for groceries, gas, but it has to come from somewhere. i can't be hungry for being broken down with all this responsibility on my back. i pray to let it all go and enjoy christ despite of all this. i pray the same for you.

Heather Tipton said...

Praying for you. (Ugh that sounds so pious. I hate it when people say that, they generally don't mean it. I just don't have nothing to give you at the moment except my prayers.)

Love you