Craving and Healing

The readings from the office today that stood out for me were from Psalm 78:1-39 in which the psalmist recounts the exodus experience, and Jesus’ healing of the Canaanite woman in Matthew. The readings for the last few weeks have been highly concerned with law and the repercussions that come from obeying or not obeying God’s law. I’m not sure about you, but I find it very difficult to discern what God’s law actually is. I mean I have a good idea at times, but one must always be on the lookout for too much accord between our own moral codes and God’s. It seems all too easy to confuse our desires with God’s. For this reason, I have faith in the Body of Christ over and above my own subjective interpretation.

The word craving jumped out at me in the Psalm. God gives the Israelites what they crave and still they are unsatisfied. At the root of craving is the principle of dissatisfaction. We long for that which is beyond our reach, that which we think can fill the need deep within us. But growing in faith seems to require a letting go of craving. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t delight in things; by all means, doing away with craving doesn’t mean we should extract the roots of joy along with the tares of craving. But we are asked to have a healthier relationship with desire and for me, that means putting on disciplines that minimize our cravings.

This is where healing arises. Once our misguided cravings flee from us, we more easily receive the healing that Christ offers. And our joy becomes ever more abundant.

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