“Deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger”

This year I want to read Frederick Buechner. I keep coming across references to him. In Radix magazine, a quote from his book Wishful Thinking: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Deep gladness: “I believe God made me for a purpose,” Olympic gold medalist/missionary to China Eric Liddell wrote, “but He also made me fast. When I run I feel His pleasure.”

“When I think of God my heart is so full of joy that the notes leap and dance as they leave my pen.” Franz Josef Haydn.

Deep gladness comes from being who I am, the unique one He designed me to be. His pleasure and my joy. They are meant to merge.

The world’s deep hunger: I look inside myself and see it. The longing. The waiting. One day a Man awakened something in me and I knew it was what I had been waiting for all my life. Everything came together. This was what I had been born for. This was what made me whole.

I keep losing touch with that song, that reality. I lose it in causes, preoccupation with death in all forms, first through nuclear holocaust (because I grew up in Hiroshima), then through earthquake (because I live in California), then through one of a myriad of lesser or more personal dismal outcomes.

I must break free of them all, return to my heart, where He is waiting. Writing is there, I can’t escape it, don’t want to. Poetry, maybe?

“A stirring,” I wrote in my journal yesterday. “I want to read deep, passionate, thought-provoking authors in the new year. I want to read poetry. I want to write poetry. I want to host a by-invitation-only class deconstructing great poems–or at least poems which move me. I want to have a poem published in Radix. I want to read more authors who influenced the Inklings. I want to go deeper aesthetically, spiritually, intellectually. I want a female friend who shares my love for (genuine) poetry.”

Or maybe, lest I be disappointed by too great an ambition, I’ll content myself this coming year with just learning how to pronounce Buechner’s name.

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About Jessica Renshaw

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2 Responses to “Deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger”

  1. I believe it’s pronounced “byookner.”

  2. Sara says:

    It was interesting to read about the various guesses on how to pronounce Buechner’s name . . . and I never would have come up with “Beekner” but there you have it! My own guess was not close to that. The man’s books, however, I have read a handful of. What I like about him is his honesty and his truth seeking and his deep insights. He just says it like it is, does not prettify things, talks about struggles and joys with equal openness. It is refreshing.

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