The longing in God’s heart

For some time now, I’ve been feeling out of place — a kind of homelessness. The major organizing frameworks that have helped me to make sense of my life, that have given meaning and purpose, don’t make sense to me anymore. The pandemic has only intensified this experience. It’s also helped me to see more clearly. I’m experiencing a sense of call, a longing, for something that is not yet, but I know it’s in God’s heart. God wants to reveal something, and I want to open myself to that revelation.

I know I can’t make this journey alone. I’ve never been able to. I need community. I need discernment partners. I need people to ask me: What’s your dream? What do you fear? What makes you angry? What lights a fire in your heart? What brings you hope? If you could do anything, what would you do? If you were not afraid, what would you do? What’s the longing in your heart? Most importantly, what’s your sense for God’s dream, for the longing in God’s heart?

There’s nothing I value more than engaging these questions in community. I want to hear the dreams, fears and longings of others. I want to live these questions in community and conspire with others to help create what we believe is good, beautiful and true.

I believe in a God of liberation. God wants us to be free. God wants our freedom more than anything else — a freedom that enables us to see what God sees and to love as God loves.

I hope this workshop can be a place for all of us to explore these questions, to be discernment partners, to dare each other to dream, to challenge each other, to offer constructive criticism, to see more clearly what oppresses us and to deeply know that God wants to smash the instruments of oppression in our lives (Isaiah 9:3). This is the ancient promise. This is Good News! I have a sense that God wants to do something beautiful and powerful with this group, and I’m grateful to be part of it.

8 thoughts on “The longing in God’s heart

  1. Please include me in this group. We can’t go back to old dysfunctional ways, where we speak of the dignity of all yet practice a cult of exclusion. God wants to break this fragile eggshell and bring the new life within it to daylight.

  2. Thank you, Luke, for your inspiring words! I hope to be “lit” on fire also as I feel that for so long I have not been supported and instead have been dismissed and disrespected at work that my light has been diminished and weakened. I don’t have a lot of passion at this time, but I hope that I can find it again through this workshop. I thank you for the invitation to be part of this group. I pray that I can hear the voice of Sophia and allow her to set me on fire with her fire to be able to cooperate with whatever she asks of me. My small inner voice wants to dream dreams and give others hope an blessings, but I feel I need to find it for myself first.
    Blessings to you,
    Jenny O-R

  3. “God wants to reveal something, and I want to open myself to that revelation.” Thanks for these affirming words. AMEN!

  4. Luke, thank you for sharing from such a deep and vulnerable place. Since we met some years ago, I have followed your journey with some awe through ordination to studies in Rome, to the Amazon Synod and elsewhere. You have shared preaching and writing that reflects a passion for justice and a capacity for unusual insight built right into your DNA. You have documented both your personal witness/actions for justice and your desire to guide and educate the young adults in your care. I celebrated your ordination then because of who you are and found hope in the gifts and the challenge you bring to the Church. I still do. I learn from you always. From the outside, your vocational trajectory might seem to some to be picture-perfect and exactly what they wish for themselves. Would that it were so straightforward.

    It does not surprise me that you own feeling “homeless,” that “the frameworks that have given (my life) meaning and purpose don’t make sense to me anymore.” Ouch. There is spiritual maturity, not comfort, in that. For one who is acutely attuned to injustice, whether in the Church or outside it, ordination confers no magic sense of belonging or certitude. In fact, if I might hazard a guess, it may create a complicated and disconcerting cognitive dissonance. Your reflection is a helpful reminder that orders is no panacea. Despite its gifts and possibilities, it bestows no guarantees, no teacher’s text for Christian living (answers in the back) to which some are privy and some are not. There are no roles or boxes, theological or otherwise, fit or sufficient to contain the Holy Spirit, a truth that is at once freeing and terrifying (deep breath). So we see visions and dream dreams, then make our way by going. We should probably pack, not sandals, but a crash helmet. Which is precisely why Jesus sent no disciple out alone. I’m glad and grateful to be walking with you.

  5. Thank you Luke. Your questions hold power. I honor the homelessness you identify. I look forward to sharing space with you to engage in the necessary conversations where we generate a home of our own. Diane

  6. Thanks for sharing your very personal story. I relate so much to your comment, “I need community” I know God wants that for all of us. I’ve been struggling with a feeling of homelessness and loneliness at this point on my spiritual journey; but I am open to the Spirit moving our church and revealing the path ahead. A read something that explained, even if we can’t see the path ahead we can hold on to the hand of God along the way. I think this group is going to help me realize with more certainty (what I already know) that we are in this together and God is with us on our path.

  7. Luke, Your words spoke to my heart. I too hope this can be a community where we “dare each other to dream.” Wow! So well said. I do not have many additional words to offer. I just hope that I get the chance to dialogue with you over the course of this retreat and in doing so, I hope to be a part of your beautiful vision of community. May this be a place full of courageous love and courageous action all fueled by the Holy Spirit.

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