First Sunday in Lent: Desire

I came home from my Bay Area sojourn longing for home. It’s the conundrum of an itinerant preacher, which seems to be my identity these days. Like every embodied being, I long for place, for people, for a sense of belonging somewhere. Because I trust the Episcopal Church processes by which I was called to Trinity Cathedral, I know that this is where I belong right now. But my heart and history live in (at least) two places, and sometimes my longing for home and the place where I live don’t entirely align. Lord, home is my desire… so what does it mean when this doesn’t exactly feel like it?

But even as I pondered these questions, I had the privilege of spending the weekend with Belden Lane, whose own deep Jesuit formation taught him that our desires are given by God. All of them—the seemingly good, bad or indifferent ones—point us towards deepest good, which is God’s own presence and being. So when our desires seem awry, then our job is not to deny them, but to trace them back to a deeper source. It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m tired, so the desire I am most aware of is the need for a nap in my for-now home. So many of my deepest desires have already been satisfied this very day: worship of God, love and connection with other seekers-after-God, music and food and love. And so desire—my friend—I thank you leading me to a deeper satisfaction than I could ask or imagine.

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