I awake with that Holy Ache.
If there is any time I feel this acutely it’s on Monday mornings, where I try to move between a resurrection Sunday and the real-world Monday. Where I move from the weekend rest and peace, to the week day chaos and problems.
We who are human know this Holy Ache. It is something that transcends cultures and generations, something that will be part of us until our life on this earth is complete.
It’s the one that reminds us that we are in between. We are in the not yet; the messy middle. That place where we know what we see is only a fraction of the real story, yet we ache for that real story to be revealed, to come to fruition. We are ‘between the lost and the desired’.
A Holy Ache.
That ache we feel when we read or hear the news and our hearts stop with the horror of it all, the longing to make all right, to gather up all the orphans, the widows, the sinners and show them the love of God. The holy ache that acknowledges we are capable of so little in comparison to the great need. That ache we feel when we are at a funeral of one we love, knowing we will never see their faces, hear their words, hug their bodies again. That ache we feel when the rich thrive and mock while the poor struggle to survive. That ache we feel of injustice and wrong and all those things that remind us we are in the between.
It used to be that the holy ache would direct me to despair. It’s all too much, I thought. It’s too hard. Seeing through a glass darkly is not enough. But lately I have embraced the holy ache as an integral part of my faith journey – a critical part that brings me to a greater love and desire for God.
Yesterday our priest said it well. We are caught, he said, between irrational joy and sorrow.
I have embraced the holy ache as an integral part of my faith journey
Irrational joy and indefinable sorrow. Waking to the smell of spring, knowing we are alive, seeing new buds coming out on trees and bushes fills us with joy, even as we face the sorrow of a world that is not as it should be.
So welcome to today’s Holy Ache – may we walk in faith that aches will be redeemed and in the middle of Holy Aches we may know Holy Joy.
“The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency.”
Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” from The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis