Sunday, August 5, 2012

traversed by his longing

Sir, give us this bread always.

I don't think I read the Bible right.
Usually, when people in the Bible say things like:
Sir, give us this bread always (as they did in the reading today), I hear the words in my head in the calm, collected cadence of the priest or the lector. The voices are generally pretty smooth, calm, and cheerful-but-passionless as they read sentences like:

"They said to him: Sir, give us this bread always."

And you just passively listen to the words and imagine the crowds saying: Sir, give us this bread always in sort of normal, every-day voices. In the kind of voice you'd say: Oh hey, how's it going?; or Pass me the potato salad; or Well, bless my soul, they made another Land Before Time movie: Land Before Time 800: The Dawn of Mediocrity

Then something makes me sit up a bit more and I think:
NO. no no no no no no. NO! NO! Wait wait wait, listen to what they're saying, what they're asking:

Sir, give us this bread always. Sir: seriously. Give us this bread. Give. it. to. us. It's a plea, a cry, a demand. A demand born out of an intense, fierce longing, springing from desire that overwhelms their entire being. A cry that stems from a thirst for nourishment, for an inextinguishable life and love.

Love cannot help but make it's desires demands.

Sir, give us this bread always.

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