Satisfying the Desires of All

Hands“Insights are a dime a dozen,” Father Richard explained to the small gathering of spiritual directors last Sunday afternoon. “It doesn’t matter so much what an experience in prayer means; what matters is that we stay with God in it.”

Relief washed over me as I thought about my own life. It didn’t matter why I was feeling ambivalent about Christmas. What would I gain from knowing anyway? I’d only end up blaming myself or trying to fix something I can’t. Insight is overrated. I know all the reasons why I overeat, but it doesn’t stop me from eating.

On Monday my Advent reading led me to Psalm 145:16, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

What a wild claim. All desires? Of every living thing?

I have a small clay sculpture of God’s hands with the holy family in it. Mary and Joseph are lying down on either side of baby Jesus. An angel kneels at Jesus’ head and a donkey is so close to Mary’s ear, she can feel his breath on her neck. The donkey, angel, and parents rest in God’s hands, the desire of their hearts fulfilled.

I held God’s open hands in mine and imagined myself there.

God, you don’t satisfy me by opening your hands and giving me what I want. You open your hands and invite me–and every living thing–to crawl into them. And there we rest satisfied.

And so I rest in God with God, and all my desires rest too.

Rural Christmas Scenic at Dusk

Advent Reflection Question:

  • What image, texture or sound invites you into God’s hands?

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Love by Dustin Gaffke

Seventeen years ago my brother Ron, who lives in Minnesota, spent Christmas with us and offered Fred a gift that would satisfy a deep longing. Fred received that gift the following May when Ron returned again. He and Fred checked into St. Paul’s hospital: Ron the donor, Fred the recipient of one of my brother’s kidneys. “It was a big deal,” I told him afterwards, but my brother couldn’t resist an opportunity to make us laugh. “Not really,” he said. “I gave him the pissy one.”

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“The Holy Family in God’s Hands” by Fred Hizsa, Used with permission.
“Rural Christmas Scenic at Dusk” photo of 1909 vintage greeting card by Royce Bair. Used with permission.
“Love” by Dustin Gaffke. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2015.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
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2 Responses to Satisfying the Desires of All

  1. I love this pictorial understanding of Psalm 145:16, Esther—crawling into God’s hands. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    You’re welcome. I shared this with our Imago Dei group last night, and they really appreciated it. They also appreciated Father Richard’s wisdom. One person said, “Insights can be a distraction in prayer.” Indeed. Hard to wrap our minds around the thought that God loves it when we draw near and rest there. Have a blessed Christmas.


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