Nostalgia and longing

People often say that our human relationships are a mirror of God’s relationship with us. 1 Corinthians 13 even says that we see things in a pale reflection, as in a mirror, I guess meaning that our vision is distorted by brokenness and sin, and therefore we are unable to love as God does.

Recently I’ve been hounded by a combination of nostalgia and longing. Nostalgia for community, and longing for God. I miss my friends from two summers ago. I had the wonderful pleasure of spending a summer living in community with some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known, and some of my best friends ever. I think part of my nostalgia comes from the fact that during that summer, I felt freer to love my friends than ever before. I wasn’t afraid of not being liked, I wasn’t afraid of being hurt or hurting, I just loved them. Part of that came from a security in a relationship I had outside of the community.

I think that is where the longing for God comes in. I think that I am only truly and freely able to love others when I cling to the security I have in my relationship with God. I have found myself having an insatiable desire for closeness with God. I don’t know what happened, but it’s like I sprung a leak and can’t stop it until I’m fully immersed in God’s love. The elder, in Brothers Karamozov, is a sort of inspiration for this. The language with which he talks about God and humanity’s relationship to each other is quite moving. The great part about this recent desire for God is that it makes me want to love everyone else more. I feel more connected to people, to creation, to art, to literature.

In other news, I’ve read The Freedom of Simplicity, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Catcher in the Rye, andFree to Be Bound in the last few weeks. I’m currently finishing up The New Conspirators. Free to be Bound is probably my favorite. It was a quick read, but I think it really prepares me for moving down to the Rutba House. Jonathan’s story is the story of how Rutba came to be, and it is helping me to have a better understanding of what they do there and how I can be a part of it.

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One comment

  1. b4dguy · August 15, 2008

    Dang, Brian – for as many books as you are reading, you must not have much of a social life! 🙂

    Nostalgia and longing…after 12 years my favorite band reunited and released an album (just this week). The band is called EXTREME, and the album is called “Saudades de Rock.”

    Saudades is a portugese word that has no real good English translation. It combines elements of nostalgia, longing, grief, remembrance, but also hope, and a vision for the future.

    I think as Believers (well, human beings really) we all have a profound sense of longing that simmers just beneath the surface of our lives. Actually it often bubbles to the surface; how we deal with it largely is determined by our maturity, wisdom, and world view.

    Jean Paul Sartre described the longing as “Nausea”. Others have described it in various ways and forms through poetry, music, and art.

    For now, I’m liking saudades…

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