Thanksgiving is still on my mind. As I sat there on Thanksgiving Day, surrounded by so much, and with my heart and head full of thanks, I astonished myself at my ingratitude.
In safe warm surroundings, with loving family and friends, I was restless for what is not.
What is this about me? About us? We humans have dreams for tomorrow (or even later today) and we have sweet memories of the past. Why then do I, (and I don’t think I am alone in this), why do I long for what is not?
My memory, which I cherish, holds many powerful stories that define who I am. My memory isn’t enough. My hopes for the future are not enough.
There is incompleteness to my life. I can’t recall meeting many others who feel completeness, completeness in the moment, a calm acceptance of what IS.
It just doesn’t last!
In my Christian faith tradition many recognize this incompleteness as a sign of the brokenness, what some call sin, in humans.
Call me perverse, but I cherish my incompleteness, even if it makes me restless, even if it makes me weep for what is not in my life and the lives of others.
St. Augustine famously said, “our hearts are restless ‘til they rest in you.”
And the prophet Isaiah said we will, “remember these things no more.”
For me, for now, with Thanksgiving still on my mind, I will be perverse enough to feel the ache of incompleteness and give thanks for it. I am not free from memories, or dreams, and I will give thanks for them. They tell me I am alive, that my heart is open to seeking something yet to be known. Bittersweet, precious, short, I know there is much that is not. I will give thanks for my longing.
Andy CastroLang is senior pastor at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ. She is deeply committed to civil discourse between individuals and throughout our community; in interreligious conversation, private conversation, intergenerational conversation and yes, even in political conversation. She has been a supporter of SpokaneFaVS since its inception because she supports this creative effort at thoughtful community conversation.