On gloomy winter days I often drive country lanes. This time of year several farms have Christmas decorations up and some even decorate the out-buildings.
One such barnyard was filled with a gaggle of kids squealing and running towards an old oak tree. By the looks of it, hide-and-seek had not gone out of fashion with this family. We’ve all played the game as children and know that it’s not only about seeking concealed friends, but about knowing where the designated “It” child was in relation to the home base.
There has been an unrelenting question, more like a small battle, simmering about my prayers. It has to do with pursuing the hidden: how do I serve Our Lord—find him really—in daily life? To hunger for Christ is to seek him, to long for him.
There is a directionality to love. It matters that I not draw Our Lord into relationship with me, but that I give myself in relationship to him. And to this end work must be done.
My visits to the care home for women had become predictable. The ladies watched for me on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Several of them noted my absence over a Thanksgiving week. And yet, being with the women had not become routine for me. As I don’t have the experience of being a mother or a caretaker, tolerance for basic humanity often escaped me. I am easily overwhelmed by my senses. I have yet to become accustomed to—not cringe from—grubby hands clasping mine or odorous sick rooms. I’ve not yet mastered Jesus in the smells.
To hunger for Christ is to seek him. He is felt in the oratory and in prayer, but that is not where we find him. The living breathing Jesus is found, hidden, beneath the rubble of humanity. Christ is loved and found in the land of the living.
To desire Our Lord is to seek his love here in this realm before our eternity. To have found enough of his love is to make our purgatory short.
I wonder where I am that I keep asking “Where are you Lord?”