I started reading a book called Hungry a few weeks ago, found and bought during one of my husband’s endless research sessions. It’s very good (as are most of my husband’s finds). But I did not realize how perfect this book would be for my own heart as I am personally preparing for Jesus’ death and resurrection during the Lent season. I, as a human, am hungry…yes for food but for so many other things as well. I am never satisfied. When I’m really hungry for food, I can’t think of anything else except putting food in me…now! My craving is so strong that I can get a little “hangry” (as my sister in law has coined it) at anyone or thing standing in the way of food. I’m weak, controlled by my hunger, and not happy. I get food and am satisfied…for a little bit. Then I need more. This is the story of our lives and it goes far deeper than food. “I want.” “I need.” These are common phrases in today’s vocabulary. How often do we say, “I am satisfied.”? I have only found satisfaction, true satisfaction that requires no blindfolds or cheese sauce, in the moments I spend with Jesus. He satisfies my hunger…and I’m finally content. This excerpt from the book Hungry makes me want to celebrate already!
“Is the story of hunger a tragedy or comedy? If it is a tragedy, it will end with frustration and cynicism, mocking and bitter emptiness. The end will look like Jesus hanging on the cross, surrounded by mockers and cynics, every promise failed, every hope dashed.
But if this story is a comedy, it will turn every disappointment on its head and will leave us laughing in shocked amazement. The end of the story will look like Jesus not just risen from death but eating and drinking and laughing with us all. Satisfaction is too weak a word to cover it.
Where will hunger end? That question began our chapter. But now we can conclude, it will end with satisfaction, because Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2)…Hope deferred will be a thing of the past, because desire fulfilled is a tree of life. The tree of life will be there, its fruit ripe and ready for our taking (Rev. 22:2).” (R. Lauterbach)
When Lent is talked about, words like fasting and hungry and craving are said…but why? Isn’t this the cry of every human heart? “I am hungry!” “I always want things!” Without the feast of the resurrection, I would go on being hungry and wanting. Jesus answers that cry with the bread of his body and the cup of his blood, a feast we could never have spread for ourselves. “Come and dine!” he calls now. Fasting and feasting remind us of our hunger and then feed us a banquet!
This book has been food for my soul during Lent.