Our Beautiful Hunger

May 6, 2014

“It is our desire, after all, that makes us most like God.”

(Fred Bahnson, Soil and Sacrament)


We are, all of us, so hungry.




My children dream of sugar, and I crave hot, buttery toast. I spied the first white flowers in the strawberry bed, and now all I can think about is warm, rich red.

We hunger for food and drink. Not once or twice but every day with regularity, like well-loved timepieces. Our hunger is new every morning.

We hunger for touch and for love and for happiness. We hunger for purpose and meaning and beauty.

But we are so terrified of our appetites. So afraid of our hunger. Desire is a dirty word.

Maybe we are terrified by thoughts of sin and shame and selfishness. Maybe we are haunted by a fear of scarcity. My hunger is too big. There can never be enough.

But the Bread of Life has appeared to us, and he has told us: Do not be afraid.


“This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!” (Psalm 118:23)


Our constant hunger bears the image of an even greater hunger. A beautiful, generative, truly terrifying hunger. This is the hunger that gave birth to spring. To stars. To nations.

Within the small boundaries of my own backyard fence, this hunger birthed wild, waving forsythia and two spinning daughters. Unleashed, this hunger envisioned nodding daffodils and wild violets that pour themselves out like a river.

This hunger spoke a tree so shocking, so pink, it burns my eyes like a sun.


“This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!” (Psalm 118:23)


sisters twirling


The sour cherry tree beyond my kitchen window is in bloom. The flowers are dainty. They are white ghosted with silvery green.

But the smell … it is nectar and roses and honey on the wind.

The air, like the breath of God himself, teases us. Tempts us. This is purposeful scent. This is devious scent. We can close our eyes and stop up our ears. We can harden our hearts with walls of fear, but the breeze slides past all of it.

And nectar and roses and honey say what are you hungry for?

What is your heart’s desire?







  1. Kris camealy

    Oh! The permission to admit how hungry we are–and that the hunger is itself, a gift from God, answered in turn with His gifts, His presence. Beautiful, Christie–though I can’t put words yet around my own hunger this season–except for more of His filling. XO

    • Christie Purifoy

      The hunger is a gift. Yes. It took me forever to learn that. I thought the hunger was the gulf separating me from God, but it turned out to be the path. Thanks for being here, Kris.

  2. valarie

    Umm, yeah…Wow?….!

  3. Lorilee Mundfrom

    Thank you for this post. All of creation God’s doing. Praise Him for that.

  4. Summer

    Beautiful, my friend. We are alive with hunger and it terrifies us. Yes.

  5. Gwen Acres

    Thank you for the feast…

  6. Sue Tell

    Yes, my friend, your words are a feast. And I love your poetic way of communicating.

    I hunger to communicate like you. … No, no, no… God created me, gave me words. I hunger to communicate well so that friends and not-yet friends hear his words through mine.

    I hunger for victory over sin. … No, no, no… I hunger for victory from sin.

    I hunger to live as a loved woman. Loved by God. Those words a reality. I hunger for the experience to be reality too.

    Bless you, Christie.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Bless you, Sue! Always, always so glad to have you here.

  7. Larry Ebaugh

    Another gem I see you’ve endowed us with. I tend to agree with Fred Bahnson that our desire is what makes us most like God.

    But I believe a close second would have to be the creative powers that God has bestowed upon us. Isn’t this one big thing that separates humans from the other animals, our creative abilities?

    Where would we be if God had the desire to create a Universe, but no creative powers to actually do it? What if we had the desire to have children, but didn’t have the creative powers to actually accomplish it?

    And where would we be if we had the desire to express ourselves in writing, but our minds didn’t have the creative ability to actually do it? We would all be much the poorer, that’s for certain.

  8. Diana Trautwein

    Sweet thing – this is drop-dead GORGEOUS. Thank you, thank you. Nail on the head – and so artistically pounded, too. :>)


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