Friday, July 13, 2007

3 words 3 desires


Recently I read a novel. I had the feeling that half the women in the US who are 20 or 30 something have read it, are reading it or are planning to read it. But since I'm in Uganda I have no idea what the popular opinion or hype about it is. The book itself was a nice way to spend a couple of evenings feeling a little more connected to my cultural peers (and comparing my own experiences with those of the main character in Italy and India with pasta, italian and yoga). I like Rumi (the Sufi poet) and I don't know the context or what he said because I'm getting this from the book and not direct from the source, but the novel says that Rumi says that we all have 3 things that are the essence of what we really desire and want in life. We can narrow it down to three words. And then if we discover that any of those three things conflict with each other we will be miserable--so better to just pick one of them and stick with it. I don't know if it's supposed to be a static thing, that for our whole lives there are really only three things that we want, but I thought about the core of my consistent desires and I think it's all captured in three words:

beauty

love

redemption

Beauty could be the feeling of sand between my toes with my feet up on the dashboard with great music playing, or Acholis dancing, or the smell of Colorado air the first day of a new season, it could be the flowers blooming around my back porch, or it could be really good swiss chocolate sent in a care package that I eat after a long day at work, or it could be a moment between a friend or partner that you realize is something unique and shared or it could be purple pillows.

Love is...love. I don't want to sort it into categories. Describing it would almost certainly cheapen it (at least with my limited mastery of the English language). Maybe the only thing to say is that the desire is for love, not for me or from me but just love and more of it.

Redemption, I struggled to think of the third word although I feel the desire most strongly and am driven by it all the time--giving it a name was tricky because it changes. The desire in it's purest form is redemption--wanting everything and everyone to be restored to all that they should be and to be a part of that process. In it's most selfish form, it's just a desire for power. But since I think it's better to nurture my purer desires, I'll focus on redemption.

Ben's are: wisdom, love and contentment.

What are your three words?

10 comments:

jim peterson said...

hmmm... my three words would be love, gentleness, and strength.

Some may think gentleness and strength contradictory, and they can be if they are contrived, superficial, or solely of our own effort; but true gentleness and true strength are not only complimentary, but in their purest Christ-given form they are almost one-and-the same. Frances de Sales is credited with a saying that resonates in my soul, it goes like this: "there is nothing as strong as gentleness, nothing as gentle as true strength".

Regarding love, I say amen to your comments, Holly!

These three words describe how I long to "be" - to learn, give, receive, succeed, fail, live and die - all in ever-deepening love, gentleness, and strength.

Ry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ry said...

My three words:

Freedom: “to set the captives free”

Love: I can’t express it either, but just an observation and a hope. Eyes twinkle when in love, when love is given, when love is shared. May there be twinkling eyes the world over.

Creation: To be a player in a world where we are welcome and expected to enter into an active creation of the Kingdom of God here on this earth. Something new, fresh and beautiful each and every moment because each and every moment is a beautiful, new and fresh gift from God. Imagination, artistry, innovation all leading to a prayerful creation, a living city, a redeemed Kingdom.

Jessie said...

Hi Hol, I can't remember the name of the book but yep, half the 20 and 30somethings in the US have read it. How are you doing? I'm back in the States now and starting work in 2 weeks. Miss you two!

Kimbal said...

Love you guys, garden looks amazing. Thanks for sharing, I don't read "girls" books but I am touched by your words and I know there was insight gained by kel as well when she read it.

Josh said...

Holly,

I love the flower box! You can barely see it! WOW! I want to read that book and think about my three "words" so I will get back to you.

lv, Erin

Nickie, Anthony, Samuel, and ??? said...

Hi Holly,

I know this wasn't your question.... But your garden is gorgeous! WOW! I remember the pics from last year and you really have transformed that place and made it a place of beauty. Wish I could be there with you.

Three words that God gave me when I was in labor with Samuel that are very meaningful to me are: submit, respond, trust. I wouldn't say these are three things I seek after in life, but rather three ways of living for me. In that situation, as in much of life, everything is so out of my control. And if I resist, I loose. So I just have to submit to the process, respond to it with open arms and trust that God would bring me though it and loves me no matter what things look like at the time. Anyway, those three words have become my understanding of strength. And their application goes much beyond labor now. Perhaps those words are so important to my life because they remind me that God really loves me and I can trust him, even if I can't trust that everything that happens in my life will be pleasent.

Travis said...

Both of you never cease to fill me with joy, wonder and love when I read your words and see you're pictures.

My words must be:

Awe - for the moments of overwhelming blessing and overwhelming weight.

Understanding - looking into the eyes of another person who has lived well, loved, sinned, been broken and dried out and could be in any state. Understanding/relating to their experience.

Love - I echo your thoughts Holly.

I love you both tremendously.

Anita said...

Mine, for this year, are faith, hope, and love. When everything else crumbles, shifts, or fades away, these three remain. (1 Corinthians 13)

Thanks for your wisdom. Your blog is an encouragement.

Aaron said...

Emotion, Effort, Meaning.

I love you. I hope you are feeling as content as I am on this rainy night in September. Happy anniversary!!! A memory of your wedding brought me here as a matter of fact. I don't believe I have ever had better chocolate cake before or since that day.

I have not read nearly enough of what you have written here. I am regretful that tonight marks my very first visit to your little piece of cyberspace. It will not be my last. I will be back, again and again.

Yours truly,

-Aaron