What Are You Looking For

“I want something, but I don’t know what it is!” How often have you heard those words, coming from yourself or others? I was raised to be self-sufficient, so I found it hard to admit out loud that I wanted anything. But my children taught me much about openly wanting. They would wail out loud and shake their heads forlornly as I listed possible things they could want. Food, something to drink? A hug? A toy? No, no, no!

What is this hunger built into our very beings? This longing for something undefinable, a yearning that persists no matter what we eat or drink or buy or collect? No matter how close we get to others?

“What are you looking for? What do you want?” These are the first words Jesus speaks in the Gospel of John (1:38). Jesus speaks immediately and directly to this yearning. Two disciples had been listening to John the Baptist talk about Jesus, who walks by, and they follow him. Jesus turns around, notices them, and asks them what they want. They do not have an answer.

For me the question is never definitively answered. After a lifetime of searching, I know that the answer has something to do with my longing for the Divine, to be one with the great Mystery. I know when I am praying deeply with a community of other seekers, I feel briefly at home. I catch a glimpse of Wholeness, for a moment I am not hungry. But I can never say, “I am there. I have God. I am done looking.”

This is why I think we need spiritual community. Spiritual community can help us make sense of that seeking, validate it, make it real. Spiritual community can support us in our desire for something deeper, the thing we cannot name, but never finally “get.”

At St. Mary’s, we want to offer the opportunity for each person who wants one to be in a small group that meets regularly. A small group can be a place where we explore our soul’s desire in the company of others. Where we listen deeply to God and each other, as we search for the answers to these important questions.

Questions? Contact me at christine@saint-marys.org.