Well, reading C.S. Lewis caused my longing to flare up again, but I have managed to let the feeling flow out into the moment, like emptying buckets of water.
It led to some exquisitely painful moments of awareness and- if my metaphor were not a metaphor, some very soggy ground- but then the moment passed.
I receive these little "Daily Meditations" from Richard Rohr's website and yesterday, he was talking about the need to live without an answer, and without resolution. He suggested that the ability to live in the question -or the mystery- is important to spiritual growth.
That sure resonated with me. We know there is an answer, but rushing to find it ourselves may cheat us of learning something else, something possibly even more important than the question we first asked.
I was finishing up "Till We Have Faces," and came across this:
"No one will believe this who has not lived long and looked hard, so that he knows how suddenly a passion which has for years been wrapped round the whole heart will dry up and whither. Perhaps in the soul, as in the soil, those growths that show the brightest colours and put forth the most overpowering smell have not always the deepest root."
And horror filled my soul!
I thought fearfully, "My passion for Jesus is shallow! It must be, because it has a bright show! Therefore, it has no roots! It will pass away, it must. C.S. Lewis has all but said so. Oh my goodness, how will I keep Him, how can I keep Him?"
I'm making slight fun of myself here, but in the moment, it was a real fear.
You don't keep Me- I keep you, Jesus said firmly, into my whirling thoughts, and they all became still and calm.
"Right," I said, relieved and much more quietly. "That's right. I forgot that. You've kept me all this time. And my growth in You has been over almost the entire length of my life; it can't be that my roots are shallow after all that."
After that, I was able to finish the book without any further mishap. It's a great book.
Now I'm on to Waters on a Starry Night, by Elisabeth Ogilvie, which is also a great book, but in a much more undemanding way.