the longings of our hearts

From “The Language of the Soul: Meeting God in the Longings of Our Hearts” by Jeff Crosby

All of us carry, I’m convinced, deep-seated longings or yearnings in our heart. It is how we are wired as people, whether we are conscious of it or not. And I’ve come to believe that being attentive to those longings, to understand what they are saying to us, is one of the markers of the with-God life.

Christian spirituality at its foundation, says Ronald Rolheiser in his book The Holy Longing, is about what we do with desire. “What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality.” 

Within the longings of our hearts we do, indeed, meet both pain and hope in so many ways. Our longings are unique to each of us made in the imago Dei, the image of God. Some are, perhaps, universal and some are less common. But I have experienced ten such longings in a persistent, deep way:

  • The longing for home
  • The longing for an undivided self
  • The longing for forgiveness received and extended
  • The longing for friendship
  • The longing for spiritual transformation
  • The longing for peace
  • The longing for community
  • The longing to be freed from unhealthy fear and anxiety
  • The longing for meaningful work
  • The longing for heaven, our hearts’ true home