Food for Heart. Who made this list? Oh yeah, I did. Food for the heart.
We easily know when we are physically hungry. Our stomach growls and grumbles its displeasure at being empty. We can get more easily frustrated or even grow weak. But what of the heart? We feed our stomach with any variety of foods, but what feeds the heart? And how do we know, when the heart is hungry?
There is a series of books out called Chicken Soup for..and the stories within are designed to fit a certain group of people. All are meant to make one feel better after reading. Are feel good stories, uplifting, encouraging stories enough? Will singing certain types of songs, ease the pains? What about those movies that keep rolling out that bring inspiring messages? Will they, feed the hunger?
There were times after my husband died when I would feel especially down. The grief nearly unbearable. The lonely, empty feelings stronger than I was at the moment. If someone were to ask me if I were okay, all I could respond at the moment was, ‘my heart hurts’. When we lose a loved one to death or estrangement, and we are facing life suddenly alone, we hunger. The heart wants to feel love again. When the pain begins to heal, when the emptiness grows, so does the hunger for what was lost.
The human soul is born seeking love. A newborn child seeks out their mother and wants that closeness. To be held safe and secure. Sadly, not all parents have that special bond with their children. They do not have the ability to love unconditionally. Yet, even as adults, we hunger for that love, maybe unknowingly, but still hungering.
Due to various reasons, whether due to upbringing, loss, mental health issues, chemical dependencies, homelessness, or any of the myriad other reasons out there, people feel unloved, unwanted, unseen. In them, is a hunger in their heart. A hunger different than physical hunger. A meal may answer a physical need and necessity, but doesn’t help a hungry heart.
Now, during this weird time, our hearts are hungrier than ever, sadly, limitations have been placed on how we can respond to that hunger.
A senior member of the family, or one in need of rehabilitation from surgery or injury, may be in a facility designed for that care. Because of the pandemic, they cannot be visited as before. Especially the elderly are wondering if they have been abandoned. Suddenly they are alone and their heart hungers for the togetherness denied. Thankfully, may places are becoming creative in how they allow family to visit. It may not be the same, but it is close and it helps.
A child in foster care feeling alone, also can be fed by moments of one on one time. Of times spent being made to feel important and special to someone. A few moments of time and listening to the child speak and share.
The family afraid because of the circumstances they have found themselves in due to all that is going on around them. Fearing loss of everything, fearing becoming homeless, fearing their family going hungry. Their hunger is for answers to their needs. When they are given hope, through a food bank, through financial help, through the coming together of others to assist as they can, to help encourage, strengthen and feed.
As winter grows ever closer here in the US, the untold number of homeless are once again at risk, especially in the states that are not simply cold but frigid. These individuals, who have found themselves in this position for many reasons, only want to be warm and safe.
I have seen where people are building a variety of tiny homes. I have seen where organizations are converting unused hotels into homes for the homeless. These are the ones who have stepped up and began to feed a hunger.
What actually does the heart hunger for besides love? I would say, hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better. Hope that someone will actually see them and not merely walk on by without a glance. Hope that they will be able to eat today. Hope that they will be safe. Hope, that what ever sadness they have found themselves dealing with, that is not all there is to life.
Our heart hungers for many things. We desire love, but we also desire the inner strength to believe in ourselves and that with or without, we can go on. We desire friends, who will share moments of togetherness whether in person on through the various other means technology has given. We seek beauty in life. We need to know that we are important in some way.
Our heart hungers for many things, if I were able to give a gift, it would be that the hungers of our heart that would make us a better, stronger, more loving person, would be fulfilled.