Psalm 42 is one of the most evocative tracts in Scripture of our desire for God. Many church hymns and spiritual songs are written using the actual words or others that speak of the deep longing we experience in life. It’s difficult to read lines like: As a deer longs for running streams, so my soul longs for You, O God, without feeling a pull toward prayer or simply to silence.
Last evening I spoke with Jan Phillips, whose books I have often quoted in this blog. Jan will join us at the Sophia Center at the end of April to share some of the wisdom she has gathered from her life experience and personal reflection. (Keep watching the homepage for details.) I was not surprised when I opened her book, No Ordinary Time, this morning to find in her reflections for Saturday a perfect complement to Psalm 42. Beginning with a short poetic verse, she then gives an opening to how our desire for the Divine is mirrored in all of life. Here’s just a snippet of what she writes:
My desire is deep and enduring/You are here and yet do I yearn/To see you, Beloved, to feel you/O would my heart turn to fire.
It is the gift of our essence that attracts others to our light. It is our speaking out that calls forth the one we seek. Just as the beauty of a rose summons the bee when it is time for pollination, or the flickering flame charms the moth, so does the brilliance of our soul draw others toward us when we dare to bare it. There is nothing more luminous and alluring than the human soul revealing itself. (p. 148)
It will be our joy to welcome Jan in the spring of the year to experience the beauty of her creative self in word and music – and in the light shining out from her essence.