What kind of longing is this?

What is this feeling in my gut that is neither happy nor sad, this yearning in my belly for something I cannot name?

What is this emptiness that aches when I climb to the top of a waterfall or read a novel that might as well be called poetry or see that girl I like or listen to Mozart’s requiem?

What is this unnamed emotion that flares up most poignantly at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life or the reading of 1 Corinthians 15?

What kind of longing is this that I have tried to numb myself to because it’s uncomfortable to feel unnamed emotions too often?

What is this unuttered groaning that yawns its mouth every time I open a history book and read about the Way Things Were?  Why do I find beauty in the times and places that we can barely remember and we scratch our heads and say “Well maybe they did it this way” but we don’t really know?

What is this protest in my soul against the Way Things Are?

What is this apprehension that makes me tremble when I see that time refuses to halt its march, when I look in the rear view mirror and see high school so far behind me that I can’t remember if I was different then or not?

What kind of longing is this that kept my five year old self awake the night before I started kindergarten because I knew this meant that I must be getting older and I would be changing and I would be meeting new people and they would change me and now life would be different and so I probably should stop sleeping with my favorite pillow.  And maybe I didn’t, maybe I couldn’t comprehend all of that as a five year old, but I remember feeling this longing and wondering what it was and being in tears about it.  I cried because I was terrified, and I cried because I knew everything was about to change, and I cried because I was okay with that.  I quit crying when my Mom said I didn’t have to give up my favorite pillow yet.

What kind of longing is this that I feel again tonight because I’m at the opposite end, and the preface that was written that one night when I was five is about to find its conclusion, and once again I’m okay with it?

What is this hope that there will be a sequel?

What is this idea that I could live forever?

What is this repulsion in my heart against death and endings and finality?

What kind of world is this that leaves me longing?

What kind of longing is this that is delightful and painful and loves the world for a beauty it doesn’t quite contain because this longing is an ache only heaven can fill?

What kind of longing is this?



3 responses to “Eternity

    • “…he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecc 3:11

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