This past weekend I went to the hospital to see my sister, who is going through a very tumultuous medical procedure that precludes her from seeing her children in person. So, I had the brilliant idea to bring her son to chat with her through the window of a door.
I remember guiding my nephew down a dark hallway towards the door my sister was waiting at. There are few words to describe how dark it was. As we approached the door, we saw my sister’s face beaming with a smile from ear to ear at the sight of her son she has not seen in weeks.
At first, my nephew and sister tried to talk through the fire door, but it was so solid sound wouldn’t even go through. We found a workaround by calling each other on our cell phones. I then watched for an eternity as my shy nephew stumbled through his words to tell my sister how much he loved and missed her.
I do not know if you have ever seen a movie where an inmate had an emotional conversation with a love through a glass pane. If you watch closely, one of the people typically puts their hand on the glass desperate for intimacy, desperate for physical interaction. That is exactly what my sister and nephew did, they put their hand up against the small window in search of each other. There was nothing more than my sister wanted to do than to swaddle her son and there was nothing more my nephew wanted to do than to hold on to the security of his mom.
This experience broke my heart. It made me aware of a wounding sadness in my life. But sadness is not a bad thing. We all have horrible experiences each day.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa said, “The soul is struck and wounded by the desperation of never obtaining what it desires, but this veil of sadness is taken away when it learns that the true possession of He whom it loves lies in never ceasing to desire Him.”
The sadness I experienced and am experiencing is a recognition of a lacking, that something is lacking, namely my awareness of Christ’s presence. It unveiled my need for Christ, my desire for relationships because I have encountered Him previously. My love for God is never ceasing to desire Him. Loving and never ceasing to desire Christ’s presence are synonymous experiences.
As one of my favorite artists puts it, “My most constant mistake is I don’t know what I love till it is gone.” – Noah Gunderson Day is Gone.
We must be separated from God, or at least perceive separation if we are to know how much our relationship with Christ means so us. So that we may never cease desiring Him, so we may genuinely love Him.
When has sadness taught you something about your desire for God?
Did God genuinely let you down or where you just blind in the moment to what God was doing in your life?