Psalm 42:1. “As the deer longs for the water-brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God.”
Between the deer and the flowing stream, there is longing; between the soul and God, there is longing. The longing about which the psalmist writes is more than just a want, need, or desire—it is focused around the deeper aspect of longing as remembrance. This kind of longing is not just the recollections of past events but also the embodiment of an ache that calls us forward, moving us toward refreshment and renewal, redemption and revival.
Longing is about our ache for the Other, and we hear it in our hearts when “deep calls to deep.”
Most of us likely understand or have been told that Lent is a penitential season. We give something up, take on a new discipline, work to change our ways. None of this is wrong. But what if Lent is more than that? What if it is a season of longing and the real work of Lent is to help us feel the ache of separation and experience the longing for reunion?
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.