How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. (Psalm 84:1-2 NRSV)
In his book “Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality,” Belden Lane writes “Calvin knew desire is the great teacher, and sustained desire the path to holiness.” I am feasting on this book which gives me permission to join my natural longing for beauty, mystery and eternity with my religious beliefs. For some time I have wondered why I often settle for temporary pleasures. Why do I not yearn for things that are good and long lasting?
C. S. Lewis saw yearning as the essence of joy. He had seen a miniature garden as a child which sparked a life-time of yearning to find that place of perfection.
The word in the psalm is כסף, kâsaph which properly means to become pale, to pine after someone or something. The word reminds me of those wonderful days of my youth aching to be in the presence of someone who made my heart a butterfly. That’s a good start.