Thursday, December 10, 2009


Yesterday I had a very valuable conversation with my son. I'm going to be circumspect here, so as to respect the privacy of that conversation and my son's trust, but it was one of those exchanges that we have ever so often where I find myself giving myself just the spiritual counsel I need to hear by responding to what he says to me. The cry of his heart really is just the same as the cry of my heart. The only difference is that our hearts are of different maturities. The need is the same, however.

He is of an age (namely, 8) where learning is taking a curve in his life. He is thinking a lot about his purpose in life and the desires in his heart. As we talked it became clear that he has a very strong and very dear desire in his heart that faces a certain danger. His desire currently is stuck in a cloak of impossibility. I don't use the word impossibility in the sense of "extreme difficulty or extreme unlikelihood," I mean flat out impossible. His very real desire is stuck inside something that just cannot be. I was able to impress on him that this impossible something was actually a symbol of something that is possible in many ways, and I know that it is one of those ways that his soul is waiting to discover. I emphasized this because I saw he felt pressure to abandon his desire, focusing on the impossibility instead of on the ultimate meaning his heart was really yearning for, and settling for some kind of a "managed" existence with desire mutated or rooted out. No way, I told him. You hold on to that desire with all you've got.

I can relate so strongly. I could sometimes ask right along with him "Why does God give me these desires in my heart if they are so impossible?" And I know that just as I told him, I have to keep asking God "If this desire is impossible to fulfill in the way I am thinking of it, then what does it really mean? What is Your desire that is being expressed in my heart? How do I understand it, and what do I do about it? How do I stay with you and with this desire?"

These are our pressing Advent questions. We can know, trust and believe that Emmanuel will come to us, but we can't foresee exactly all of the details, all of the proceedings of how He comes. We can long. We can watch. We can wait, looking, even hurting with the anticipation. Somehow it is this that prepares us to welcome, to see, the revelation when He comes.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Suzanne said...

This sets up the problem in such a simple and straightforward way! Thanks!

Shauna said...

Great way to rethink the desires of our hearts that seem impossible. Thanks for giving me some food for thought this Advent night.

Leonie said...

It really is true - our cries of the soul are the same, just separated by maturity and age...