Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled
Picture if you will the platform of a church sanctuary.
It is decorated with plants and trees. A lone spotlight is focused on the empty garden. Then a deep voice begins to sing, low and slow.
“Adam where are you?
I came to walk with you,
and found an empty space where face to face we used to talk.
Adam I love you!
and I will find a way,
to bring you back someday to where we first began.”
Can you feel it? The longing. Does it cause your throat to catch? The hunger. Tears to well? The love.
You will not be able to find this song online, or even the lyrics. I searched. There is a songbook for an Easter play called In the Gardens by the Gaithers for sale, used, on Amazon, but that is the only evidence out there on the web the song ever truly existed.
This song made such an indelible impression on me that even now, 22 years later, I remember every word. I can see the stage as if it were yesterday. I can still feel the longing. The hunger. The love.
In a sermon I listened to this week by Dr. Stephen Manley from Cross Style Ministries he quoted Owen Chase: (Captain of the ship the story Moby Dick was based on). The quote was taken from a journal Captain Chase kept after their ship was destroyed by a whale.
“The privation of water is justly ranked among the most dreaded and dreadful of the miseries of our lives. The violence of raving thirst has no parallel in the category of human calamities.”
On the 23rd day after the sinking of the ship he wrote:
“Our thirst became now incessantly more intolerable than our hunger, and the quantity then allowed, half a pint per day, was barely sufficient to keep the mouth in a state of moisture for about 1/3 of the time. In vain was every expedient try to relieve the raging fever of the throat. Our suffering during these days almost exceeded human belief.”
Dr. Manley then said, “I bet not many of us have been thirsty like that.” In my case the answer is no, I have not.
But how many of us have ever really been hungry either?
But let’s take it deeper. What about spiritual hunger and thirst? How hungry and thirst am I?
These are the kind of things my brain thinks about.
What about you?