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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst to see right prevail, they shall be satisfied.
Perhaps this one is a lesson in desire and need. To use the words hunger and thirst is a reminder of the very real physiological needs as living beings, but then it’s linked to seeing right prevail. Although, in Luke, the passage is only about hunger and not about “right” or “justice” at all. The scripture asks us: how do we feed our bodies and how do we feed our ways of being and our souls?
Justice brings balance. Injustice brings chaos. Perhaps our work is to find balance in all things. In all the places we find balance, we encourage balance around us and beyond us.
It’s hard work. It’s easy to think we’re bringing balance by weighting the scales to “our” side. But if we’re aggressive, they crash. Then to try to maintain balance, the scales tip precariously the “other” side. Eventually, the scales tip wildly back and forth, crashing to one side and then the other with the loud clang of disorder. We must find balance.
Where do our hungers and thirsts distract us from this real work? How easy it is for this to happen? How easy it is to hold back forgiveness and love? How easy is it to turn away from hurts? Kindness balances hate. Courage balances into Good. (Brave)
It is easy to find ourselves wasting energy on things we want and then feed the desire for more. Alway more, so often not better. We easily begin filling voids of physical desires in ways that, instead of nourishing us, distract us. Then, there is the desire more of those things. How often do we get distracted when no one’s looking? What is our distraction? Amazon, shopping? The break room donuts? Social media? What are we feeding that’s distracting us from our work and life?
What are you feeding that’s distracting you from seeing Good prevail in your own life? Noticing only the bad. The news. Assuming the worst in others and in life?
Where are we unkind, often by mistake? A favorite quote of mine is: Clear is Kind, UnClear is UnKind (B. Brown). How often do we not say what we mean for fear of hurting someone or fear of committing to a change we’re unsure of? More often than not, that lack of clarity causes more harm than good. Those we interact with must make assumptions based on “unclear” and then it harbors confusion, resentment, and misunderstanding. It gets messy and sometimes ugly.
How are we feeding our lives? This is what this Beatitude asks and Jesus is asking us to dig deep with this one. Are we distracted by the desires of the senses? Pursuing more stuff and doing what we’re “supposed” to do? Collecting money and security?
Or are we living our honest truth? Have we learned to fill our hunger, not for security or “shoulds”, but to be our best presence in the world? To be Good and Kind. To have the Courage to do the right thing. (Brave)
Do we know the real desire beneath the call of hunger and thirst? Many of us no longer even know the call of real physical hunger or thirst anymore. We don’t seek food and water to nourish our bodies; we seek food and drink to pleasure the senses. Are we spending our energy seeking pleasures that are fleeting? Or do we seek those hungers and thirsts that sustain us and the world around us?
Do we hunger for personal independence or worldly independence? Are hungering and thirsting for, desiring for and working for, goodness and right in the world? How can we do better?
What we hunger and thirst for gives us clues into the ways in which we spend our energy. Sometimes, our true hunger and thirst is found by stepping out of the busy world for a moment to reflect. Balancing the scales of rest and work in our own lives helps us to see clearly what’s really happening and what’s most important.
How could we be called to better use our energy? Where are we wasting our energy? Are we caught in the narrows and have forgotten to find the deep ocean? Have we forgotten the real hunger, hunger for Good, hunger for the divine.
Desires send us chasing after dreams and adventures. It was Augustine who said that “God is home and we’re off traveling.”
Our attention drawn outward, when what we seek is at home. What we seek is right before us. Within us. We allow distractions to pull us from the truth and from the needs around us. Until we become afraid to turn our thoughts inward and our faces to light and grace.
Hunger and thirst are a lesson. Everyone suffers from unfulfilled desires, but not everyone learns. Often, this unfulfilled desire is a source of pain. Sometimes, unnecessarily. Sometimes, we cling to it more strongly than we need to. Sometimes, we cling so strongly that it destroys us. Can we come to a day when we see that the day I suffered was a blessing too, for it helped me to seek God?
We all have or have heard stories where the prayer felt unanswered. Those times when we felt forgotten and at the same time we felt almost forced to seek Good, comfort, and compassion. We found that the divine was there. And found that our own compassionate nature was awakened.
Jesus teaches us that anyone can seek God. In fact, we are all meant to. That void of loneliness is only filled by seeking the Divine. God is not for the “special” people. God is available to each one of us, if only we begin to seek the Divine in our own lives. If only we are not distracted by worldly pleasures that we believe will fill the void. If only we hunger and thirst for right, for Goodness.
If we trust and listen. If we open our hearts and Be Still enough to hear, we will find what we seek. We will find the deep waters of Grace that fills our own wellspring. We will no longer hunger. We will no longer thirst. We will see right prevail. We will be satisfied. If we only work to create balance in the midsts of chaos and allow it to ripple forth. If we trust that it will ripple forth. This hard, but nourishing, work is ours, the ripples….those belong to God.
We could spend a lifetime on each of the Beatitudes and still there would be wisdom to attain. The Beatitudes teach us to learn, explore, and live our lives as practice. They teach us that we are meant to work hard, and not become distracted, to become better versions of ourselves. They aren’t easy and each of us will have a uniquely different balance for each one. Life is not about our individual beings, but our collective Goodness, our collective story. We each are unique so that we can play our part in the story.