What It Means to Be Hungry

My year begins, but not with the strength and resolve I had hoped for. Usually I have big resolutions and elaborate goals, but not this time.

Instead my year begins with weakness. With blood tests and anemia and liver distress and oh so that explains the deep weariness and heavy spirit.

My vegan stint was short-lived. I stood for a cause and neglected all it required and now there are supplements three times a day and this awful liquid iron that tasted like rancid orange juice or something and sometimes we don’t realize the consequences of our actions until things are falling apart.

I would forget to eat. I would get busy and forget and neglect…both body and soul.

They starve silently. The kind of starving that creeps in slowly, a weariness that slips into every bone, touches every thought like icy fingers – numbing.

I remember my hands cupped around the familiar mug from my favorite coffee shop. Is something wrong with me? The bestie sat across from me with quiet eyes and shook her head. But I can’t feel anything…

They say that if you stop eating, after a while, you stop being hungry and just ache deep – your body is just trying to survive.

Same with the soul. I had noticed last year, like clockwork, how to neglect my spirit-man for three days was to begin falling to pieces behind the fragile surface. I am not thick skinned and hunger bites though my fragile bones like uncooked spaghetti.

There are symptoms that hint to a deeper issue, like a whisper, something is wrong here. Sometimes we try to treat the symptoms instead of digging deep to the root to find the real problem. Like headaches and acne and exhaustion so we try pain meds and face washes and coffee…instead of recognizing our body’s cry for help. Sometimes the truth calls for harder solutions – honesty, humility, discipline.

Gentle doctor-eyes looked at me firm and said “You’re starving.” And I swallowed hard because I knew and it was time to pick up these pieces, these sorry bones and live once more.

So I read Scriptures like the supplements I take three times daily, not because I like them but because I know with time they will make me strong. I pick up a Piper book, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. I cry and I journal and I fall back weary onto Him.

I eat. A lot. Or at least what feels like a lot.

A Tuesday night women’s bible study testimony cracks me right open and I wake 23 minutes before my alarm the next morning hungry for truth. All flames start small.

Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write to discover what I know.”

You are good and You do good. I journal in purple ink.

And slowly, I remember.

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What It Means to Be Hungry