Coyote is filled with desire and howls at the moon, or the sky, or snow falling in the Colorado Rockies. You and I are filled with the same desire. What? The desire in an animal is the desire in us? Let’s take it a step farther. I have come to believe that all desire comes from the Creator of all, who ever desires increasing intimacy with us, the created.
Of course this sounds ludicrous in a way, since our desires can be twisted toward things that are unhealthy. I desire my favorite Zapps Sweet Onion Creole potato chips and have trouble stopping with half a bag. I love the sea food dishes at Jazz Fest every April and desire every single food offered. But if I am controlled by my desire I overeat.
My grandson Sam is so delicious that I would like to eat him too sometimes, but that’s a bit suffocating. So I step back and contain my desire, and just visit as often as I can. Then I experience that longing, grieving, wishing for more time together that comes with love and desire.
When I am away from my friends I also feel that longing of desire. Rev. John Winn teaches us about Marsilio Ficino, director of the Florentine Academy in 15th century Italy, who said “convivium is the demonstration of love and splendor, the food of good will, the seasoning of friendship, the leavening of grace and the solace of life.” John also says convivium has to do with “the communion of life.” In good friendship there is the desire to stay connected meaningfully and the longing for the friends when they are away.
In Judeo-Christian scripture The Song of Songs celebrates the exuberant, thoroughly erotic and non-judgmental expression of yearning and desire. Eros draws us to seek companionship with others who infuse life and intimacy. The Song includes a cyclical rhythm of seeking, finding, and losing. I believe these beautiful expressions of desire, fulfillment, and longing were included in scripture because desire ultimately has its source in God’s desire for us.
Maybe you never thought of God as desiring you, wanting closer communion, and seeking to bring you into intimate connection. But I believe what we experience in moments of oneness with God through contemplative practices is the actual wooing of the Divine. When we seek oneness, our own desire is coming from the One who desires us. So let us all celebrate the joy of seeking, finding, and longing in the 1 desire, 1 love which is ever seeking us.
For more stories like this see Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture, now available as a Kindle book.