“Because of body’s hunger are we born,
And by contriving hunger are we fed;
Because of hunger is our work well done,
As so are songs well sung, and things well said.”
Sehnsucht by Anna Wickham
God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Nearly as omnipresent is hunger. A newborn of any species arrives with an almost clean slate. Just about everything must be learned; sounds, thinking, muscle control, smells, the list is exhaustive. Hunger is a major exception. Anyone who has been around a newborn knows that the first expression of hunger is rooting for a food source. If it is not found, the distress/cry follows. The dictionary defines hunger as a desire, a yearning, a craving, a longing, a wanting, usually for or after something.
Because we recently went to NC to visit my Mother, and had two cancelled flights, we found ourselves in a hotel room one morning waiting for a next day afternoon flight. We did something we rarely do, turned on the TV. We found a nature program which was focused on The King of the Jungle, lions. We learned many things about the species, but the thing which has stuck in my mind is that a hungry lion, after a kill, can consume 60 pounds of meat in one sitting. I can’t even imagine a stomach large enough to contain 60 pounds, let alone a digestive system that could manage 60 pounds at one time. The image is one of satiation. The King of the Jungle was laid out flat.
The program made me think about hunger in general. Of course, we all hunger for food. However, as the quotation above suggests, we hunger for all sorts of other things, like success, fame, money, power, and love. In order to live, we must eat. In order to be fulfilled, love is essential. Without love, species die. (“...hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them” Ps 107:5). Without love, I am nothing (I Cor. 13:2).
As Christian people, we are blessed to have love as the cornerstone of our beliefs. We are in Eastertide, the season of the year that we focus on the sacrifice of Jesus because of his unquenched love for each one of us and the promise of eternal life. Like food which we need daily, we need to be reminded of love again and again.
Paul tells us, “In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:10-14). And finally, we are reminded about The King/God/sacrificial loving Lamb of all things, not laid out flat, but Resurrected. “They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev 7:16-17). Love reigns.
To God be the glory. Alleluia! Amen.