Category Archives: parables
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
Humans do not live by bread alone
The most fundamental of human needs are for oxygen, water, food, sleep and shelter. Deprive a person of oxygen for a few seconds and they can think of nothing else. Deprive a human of drink for a day, and, throat parched, lips and tongue swollen and dry; every cell within craves water. Until the need is met, nothing else matters.
Tempted in the wilderness, and later nailed to a Roman gibbet, Jesus was thirsty. Human, he certainly thirsted for water.
But, Jesus has an even deeper hunger, an even deeper thirst, something that drives and consumes Him even beyond the need for water or oxygen.
His thirst is not for water. His hunger is not for air.
The deepest passion, longing, thirst, hunger of His being is for every human to experientially know God’s unconditional love.
If we love Him, how can we look at Him in His thirst and not bring Him a drink?
My ministry, my calling, my vocation, is to satiate Jesus’ thirst by bringing God’s love to women and men – in my particular case, by sharing the knowledge of new life in Christ in all its breadth, depth and strength.
It is why I live.
What is it for you? How has God called you to assuage the thirst of Jesus?
Has it really been almost 30 years?
It seems like yesterday.
It was real, wasn’t it?
That luminous evanescent heavenly messenger
Who lit up the entire sky,
And shocked us awake?
Terrified, I froze.
Not so the sheep.
They paused, so very un-Ovis-like
And seemed to gaze upwards in serene recognition.
The incandescent messenger spoke,
His/her (I could not tell) voice, gentle, soothing:
“Do not be afraid
… Good tidings
… Great joy
… Lord …”
The night sky erupted!
Full of life, flying, moving, dancing, singing.
Then they were gone.
We looked at each other.
“Let’s go,” someone said.
Anticipation, hearts pounding.
Pipe and whistle, song and staff
We flocked our ewes and lambs towards Bethlehem.
Didn’t really know where we were supposed to go.
But our sheep led the way
Filled with livestock
Sounds. Bleating. Mooing. Braying.
Smells. Hay, manure, urine-soaked straw, sweat.
Our sheep mingled in
With the others.
A peasant like us
Tears streaming down his face
Full of relief, wonder and joy.
Hair matted with perspiration
Body slumped in exhaustion
Dried blood on her tender hands.
I have never before or since seen a face so innocent, so sweet.
Well, one face.
Wrapped in a cloth,
Lying in a feeding trough
Dark russet skin
Brown hair with a hint of chestnut
No question – a Palestinian Jew
Deep auburn eyes.
Oh, those eyes!
What was it?
Passion, love, gentle power, grace, mercy?
Has it really been almost 30 years ago?
It seems like yesterday.
Just a peasant shepherd.
Despised. Looked down on. Marginalized.
Lonely nights talking to God.
Listening to the divine voice on the wind.
Merchants, even thieves
Speak of a wonder-working rabbi in Galilee.
Could it be?
My family says I am crazy
To leave the only job a guy like me can get
And walk 80 miles north
Looking for the one they call Messiah.
I have never seen a lake before.
Galilee shimmers like a jewel.
Crowds along the shore.
Another peasant like me seated in a boat
The very same eyes.
I know Him.
I love Him.
I follow Him.
©2019 Lawrence Russell Taylor