Jenny's life was characterized by want.
But it disguised itself as stealing from shoe stores, then as running away, and later as working too hard to please her adopted parents.
It was because there was a void she was desperately trying to heal. A core that had been unplugged from her heart when her father was shot.
Her heart was full on the day she was born, nursing in her mother's warm arms, and filled up by the lips of her father as he kissed her forehead. Her heart stayed full until four years later when her father was caught in collateral fire of a bad drug deal from the apartment next door. Then her mother fell to drugs to cope with the ensuing weight of it all.
Jenny was put into the foster system by the age of 6 and adopted out of it by age 7.
Now she sat in front of the large, old windows on the second story of an old mansion, the site of her favorite coffee shop. She found herself there often. She always had work to do, trying to write her papers for her Master's in Theology at Duke. Or replying to emails with her friends from whom she moved away in Chicago.
But more often than not she found herself just staring at the swaying leaves, lit up by the yellow light of the rising sun, and the old smooth trunk of the sycamore tree outside the window. FULL. OF. WANT.
She knew of course that losing one's parents would be hard on anyone, but that was 22 years ago. She had been loved by good parents since then. They had paid for lots of counseling and by the end of high school she had found her groove in terms of worldly success.
But there was still just a lot of want. She had wanted a husband, and she had found one. She strongly worked for the approval of her adopted parents, and they were so proud of her accomplishments. She should be okay, by all accounts. But she just still found herself gazing into the trees some mornings, crying, overwhelmed by want.
This is the plight of all of us. We were connected to our source, our God at the beginning, walking with God in the Garden. And then we sinned and a distance was put between us.
A very churchy thing that is said is that "there is a God-shaped hole inside of all of us." This desire we feel is our heavenly father that we were built to love but that we won't fully be with until we die. But until then we do our best to draw near for those moments of deep satisfaction. Have you found that communion with him lately? It's hard, it often takes desperation, intention, and time. At least those are some of the ingredients involved when I have found intimate times with him again.