Sometimes I am blindsided by deep longing. It has always been this way for me. Growing up, I was often described as "extra sensitive" and "intense." I felt everything so deeply. Too deeply. In fact, one of the first questions I'll ask God when we meet is: "Did you HAVE to make me feel everything so intensely? Would it have killed ya to dial me down a notch?" And then God will answer: "No, love. That's why I created Xanax." But this intensity--this fiery longing that sometimes seems like it will burn me up--is one reason why I relate so deeply to St. Therese of Lisieux. She was consumed by this infinite longing and channeled it all into love for God. She accomplished this by small acts done with great love. And she did it from behind the cloistered walls of a convent.
This gives me hope. Mainly because I live behind the cloistered walls of my home. The cloistered walls of my kitchen sink, more precisely. My divine inspirations rarely come during designated Times Of Spiritual Enlightenment. Rather, they happen while my arms are elbow-deep in dirty dish water. Or while I'm feeding the dogs. Today I totally had a spiritual experience while parked in front of a Seven-Eleven. Then again, I was eating Pumpkin Pie frozen yogurt so that probably accounts for the wheeeeeee! epiphany! moment.
But seriously, I think it's tragic to believe that we must travel and take expensive pilgrimages to find God. It's a rather privileged view. Most of the world can't afford to travel. Oh, well. No God for them!
Here's the thing: the journey is not external. It's internal. No matter how far you travel, you're still left with yourself. At 2am, you're still alone with you. For me, finding God is really about loving the people right in front of me.
When I give of myself, my longing is filled. And I am satisfied.
Today's Little Way: I don't need to travel far to find God. Today I will look for a small way I can love the person right next to me.