Monday, May 23, 2011

The Stilling of Desire

A sequel to The Killing of Desire (posted 2006 on my website,

I know, I said I would get back to the seven part series on the Perfected Marriage, but once again that intention is stalled by lack of free time at the moment and a compelling rush of intentional adrenalin to write on, The Stilling of Desire.   This seems to be the  proverbial moment of a clear eruptive understanding in my mind after weeks of fragmented dialogues with God on the subject of personal accreditation.  I have been speaking a great deal this spring on the subject of finding our true accreditation, not from the world's faulty and fickle standard, but from God who is able to truly validate our value and worth since He designed it. This accreditation can be summed up in us as a satisfaction for the seven longings or desires designed into our spiritual DNA by God (thanks to Mike Bickle for defining this for me).  If we do not seek satisfaction in God for these longings, we will attempt to wrench an accreditation, whole or partial, from the world's systems.

These seven longings drive us like turbo motors in our life.  They motivate our decisions, stimulate our will, occupy our thoughts, structure our life style, determine our actions, explain our relationship choices and in short, design our entire life. How?  They cause us to move consciously and unconsciously toward experiencing their satisfaction. Like an unbearable itch, we eventually move toward activity which we believe will relieve the sensation of longing and desire.

One morning this week, I awoke in the early hours of dawn with this declarative statement cold minted in the space of my brain, as if my brain had just been branded and the brain was still smoking from the imprint(like fire and ice).  The statement was (clearly God's thought), "I came to satisfy you." 
It seemed so startling to me because I realized how much I think and believe the other way.  Life is frustrating - sometimes at every turn. Does anyone care what I am trying to do here (like God?).  I will never achieve what is in my heart to do - just plain inadequate for the task and so on....

The dialogue went on for several days in prayer, under my breath while attending to mundane activities, in my head as I slept with one compartment of my brain awake until some impressions crystallized.  The seven longings (I list them here):  The longing to be loved, the longing to be beautiful, the longing to achieve something great in the world, the longing for intimacy, the longing to be relevant (meaningful) to the world we live in and to the people we  are connected to, the longing to be fascinated with life, the longing to be whole-hearted (so committed to something that we could die for it). These desires are not stilled until they are completely and perfectly satisfied.  They are like vortexes pulling us into unknown territories where we try, despair, struggle, deny, create, cogitate, emote and much more in our effort to find perfect satisfaction, but to no avail.

I listened to a TED talk the other day on chronic pain. The doctor gave an account of something which happens much too frequently in life and particularly in science.   A little cell (gilia cell) which was thought to be of no real significance to the body (sort of like dead weight -as cells go) until, it was brought to an enlightened mind that  it was actually a very important cell accomplishing many necessary and important function relative to the perception of sensation brought to our body by neuro-transmitters. The scientists should have known that God did not put anything in us that is superfluous. I repeat this account here, since it is relative to the fact that those seven, God-designed and implanted desires in us are not there as dead weight to our existence.  They are not insignificant to our development.  They are not evil and therefore, should not be denied and eliminated so we can live a desire-free existence.  They are not the root of greed, lust, deception, promiscuity, perversion, envy and blasphemy....unless, we seek satisfaction for them from the world's systems of accreditation.  

Quite the contrary, these longings in us are to drive us to connect in the most intimate of ways to Him, our God, who placed them within us to act as a spiritual GPS which is programed to always find God.  We must turn the vehicle of our life toward its destination -walking so close with God in the garden of life that our will is one with His. Then, we join the dance of love with the trinity which has been going on since before the foundations of our world were laid and realize we are totally satisfied.  We experience His unconditional and jealous love for us, we realize He has given us His beauty, we discover that we didn't chose Him BUT, He chose us to bear endurable fruit, we are fascinated every day with a new revelation of His un-graspable being, we are strong and committed to Him (even unto death), we see that our relationship with Him gives us salt and wine to share out to others in our worldto be relevant to them and we are immersed in an inescapable addiction to being known by Him and to knowing Him, an intimacy we never dreamed possible.

In this condition, all desire is stilled.  We are suspended in present state of enjoyment and pleasure.  Our whole life is now in Him.  We are at last whole, complete  without desire. He is the end of all our desires.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Comfort at the Door of Death

I must say, that it has been awhile since I posted.   A truckload of writing and creative necessities overwhelmed me with the starting of the Edinburgh project.   I still do not have a clear path, but I am working on it.  I do intend to continue with my series on the perfected marriage.  However, with a request at my door to write the story of 'comfort' in my life, I am diverting from that goal a little here to tell this story.  I hope it will bring a hope and warmth to your hearts.

 In April, 1971 I lay on the bed in my room staring vacantly at an overhead light bulb which was diminishing in size. I had been repeating this experience for several nights with an ever-increasing sense of fatality and hopelessness.  It had begun with a lethal, breath-sucking depression which swooped into my mind, soul and body after I had driven myself to the hospital where they performed a D&C to remove the dead 6 month fetus of my child, and then driven myself home again the next day. I had been convulsed in sobs as I walked down the stairs of the Catholic hospital, when a small priest came up the stairs and saw my despair.  He asked if he could do anything for me.  I replied; I don't think so, they just stole my baby.  He looked at me through very thick lenses with big compassionate eyes and said; The Lord gives and the Lord takes; blessed be the name of the Lord.

I was not a believer at that time and had spent 12 years running from God in search of some sophisticated, esoteric and elite enlightenment.  I was so sophisticated that I had married a man who repulsed me and for whom I had no love what-so-ever.  We were both students of the occult. Therefore, I could not process this priest's response to me.  Nor, could I dismiss it as a stupid platitude which was more akin to salt in a wound than a comfort.  Because, one thing pigeon-holed in my mind and drove me relentlessly to question his statement. That one thing was the fact that the priest believed this with all his heart-I could see this, even through those thick lenses.  I then asked and asked and asked of myself; is there a God to whom you could say 'the Lord takes, blessed be His name'?  If there was, I wanted to know this God.

The days following this incident were mired in a life-threatening shut down of my body and soul. Each time I lay on the bed, the overhead light became smaller and smaller-irising out the light in the room.  I knew that one night it would go completely out and I would live no more.  On this last night, the light had slowly irised out till it was only a pin prick - like a distant star.  I held my breath and listened to my heart and waited for death.  At that moment, the phone rang by the bed.  I don't know why I picked it up - very illogical for person who was preparing to die.  However, I did.  My sister was calling me from three states away.  She said; I don't know what I can say to you Kathleen, except that the Holy Spirit is a comforter.  I heard nothing else.  I was in such pain and loneliness and dark despair that the only word that mattered was 'comfort'.    I finished the short conversation and went looking for a Bible.  I managed to find one and began reading it.  I have no idea where I read or what.  But, this was clear.  As I read, the black oppression lifted from my soul and I could breathe again and think again.  I felt a huge warm presence wrap around me like a feather comforter and insulate me from the reality of my pain.

I read this Bible non-stop for two weeks.  I was never without this Bible. I read any 30 seconds of free time I had anywhere. It was like taking a drug.   Whenever I read, this suffocating depression would lift off my heart and mind, and breath would come into me.  The warm presence was always there.  After two weeks, I was so hungry to know if this God, to whom the priest had said 'blessed be His name', was real.  I knelt down on the bare wooden floor in the absolute darkness of my room alone and prayed; If you are really there God, I want to know you know my name.

I have no idea how long it was (3 minutes or 3 hours) that I sat absolutely still listening.  Then it came, the undeniable voice in my spirit which I will never forget:  "Kathleen, I love you".  I believed and He took me as His own.  I have never been without His comfort since.  Thank you, my Lord.