It’s often been said that the desire to find God draws all our desires together. While some may find God in Scripture, others may find him through a walk in the woods after a first snowfall…or striking up a conversation with a stranger where an unexpected connection turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Desires are many. After a while, it becomes exhausting to indulge in desires that harm us physically, mentally, or spiritually. So, we seek the one true desire—the ecstasy that is God.
Jesus said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
The “treasure” in understanding our own lives and nurturing the interpersonal relationships that most satisfy our temperaments and heart’s desire is precious and draws us closer to God. While writing might feel painful at times, the absence of exploring long-buried feelings becomes an obstacle to knowing ourselves and others.
I remember a little girl on a Christmas morning. I let her tell me what she thinks. As she tugs at her pale blond hair, she says that she has no idea who she wants to be when she grows up. If only she were prettier, she confesses, or smarter or cleverer. She seeks clues to go about living in books. From Shirley Temple’s Storybook of fairy tales with its cream and turquoise cover she found wrapped under the Christmas tree when she was ten years old to novels of adventure, love, and loss she read as a young woman, wife, and mother, she explored myths and real-life stories.
As she grew older, she wondered: Where will it all lead? Is it fate? Some days it felt easier just to let it be, go home, snuggle with her dog, and not worry. There had been so much anxiety and so many side trips that led nowhere. Put aside childhood notions of fairy tales, she thinks. Appreciate your own story of love and loss as compelling as anything within the pages of a book.
Like walking the beach and stumbling across a washed-up intricately designed scallop shell, her life with its many nuances and complexities is a treasure.
As the poet, Mary Oliver writes,
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
An old woman with lines around her eyes and strands of gray hair grabs her coat. She walks among trees shimmering in sunlight. Go easy, love yourself, the breeze whispers. Cherish this day. She begins the journey…finding the treasure…desiring God.
Susan G. Weidener is the author of several books, including memoirs and fiction. A former staff writer with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Susan runs the Women’s Writing Circle in suburban Philadelphia. A graduate of American University and the University of Pennsylvania, Susan lives in Chester Springs.