Primary Hungers

By The Venerable Max Woolaver

The call of God comes to you as the primary hunger of your heart. All our primary hungers originate in God’s hunger for our happiness. Our longings are but echoes of God’s longing for us. All that we long for: wholeness, affection, affirmation, stability, wisdom and insight arise from God’s longing in you. These states of being, of emotional health, of insight, are the fruit of knowing God. Our Creator, who became the Incarnate One, hungers for us to come into conscious awareness of the indwelling Divine Life. Knowing God is the fulfillment of human life.

The Holy Trinity hungers for a living, breathing relationship with us. God desires a dialogue. God longs to speak with us. God aches to be with us after the manner of our Creator: as Abba, Guiding Spirit, Nourishing Holiness. 

It is God’s Holy Will to bestow upon us an Infinite Stability. And how precious is this stability during these uncertain and challenging times! The Infinite Stability of God is powerfully expressed in Psalm 22, the psalm that Jesus quoted on the cross. You will recognize the opening words immediately as taken from the magnificent Coverdale translation of the Psalms found in the King James Bible: “My God, My God, Look upon me; Why hast thou forsaken me? And art so far from my health, and from the words of my complaint?” The words which follow this cry of pain are perhaps not so familiar: “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season also I take no rest.” And then comes the remarkable proclamation: “And thou continuest holy, O Thou Worship of Israel.”

These are the remarkable words which Jesus evoked in the darkest moments of his mortal life. These words testify to the Spirit-born capacity to name one’s distress even while naming one’s faith. Jesus named the source of holiness even while naming his real experience of abandonment. This is the pearl of great price. This is the knowledge which surpasses knowledge. Jesus gave himself to a love deeper than his felt experience. To love in the moment of abandonment is to share in the Love of God.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard words like these on the lips of suffering people, courageous people, faithful people, holy people. These are the people of God. These are people whose lives overflow with the primary hunger of God. They live and breathe a love which is not contingent or circumstantial. They have become Love. 

God’s longing to be known in the human heart, indeed in all of Creation, has surfaced in the Divine Hunger, Love and Knowledge of all those whose primary hunger reveals the primary hunger of God.