To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing—the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one’s hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again. Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smooths our hair, and brings us wild strawberries.
…every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and become flesh, and that the wanderers will find a way home, and the perished, whose lack we always feel, will step through the door finally and stroke our hair with dreaming habitual fondness not having meant to keep us waiting long.
~Marilynne Robinson from Housekeeping
To wait for the “not yet” is a hard sweet tension in the Christian life.
It is hard not yet having what we know is to come.
But it is sweet to have certainty
because of what we have already been given
as foreshadowing of what will be everlasting.
Like the labor of childbirth,
we groan knowing what it will take to get there,
and we are full to brimming already.
The waiting won’t be easy;
it will often be painful to be patient,
staying alert to possibility and hope when we are exhausted,
and barely able to function.
Others won’t understand why we wait in hope,
nor do they comprehend what we could possibly be waiting for.
Yet we persevere and wander this life together — craving for what we don’t yet have, longing for what we’ve lost. We groan together in expectation of what is to come in the morning.