Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I Learned About Gladness and Hunger

First, a video for you, via Relevant.

And this just reconfirmed that one of my dream jobs is working in a children's hospital. I'm in love.

I have a lot of 'dream jobs,' or better yet, things I can envision myself doing. But they are all related to kids (or writing, and/or writing children's books). I used to think that was kind of silly, but now I don't. Kids are great, and if I need my adult fix, well, adults are everywhere. I can't get away from them since they are my peer group. I just love kids though, because if I were to choose the people with the most life around me, it's them. Do you ever see adults dancing a video to Katy Perry's "Roar" like this? Well, the staff in the video don't count -- surely, the kids made them do it.

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. ― Frederick Buechner 

I watch this video a couple more times and think about where God is calling me to at this next stage of life.

This quote has long been a source of encouragement but also haunted me.

The two sided coin. Gladness. Hunger.

Those two are often not friends in my book. I don't know that they always meet, even in the 'place God calls you to,' and when they do meet, it's kind of awkward.

Let me explain.

Gladness =

This video reminds me of my love for all things medical and bringing hope to those in dark places. I've never actually worked in the medical field although I feel like I have through personal experiences. Sometimes this feels like an 'idealized' gladness. But I know it makes my heart jump a little.

Hunger =

Seeing kids struggle in rougher neighborhoods and in their homes and have to fight to get by. And then there's putting a face with the drop out rate and literal hunger.

I've long struggled with how to find 'deep gladness' in the work I do. I find parts of it comedic, because of the people I've worked with who have lightened the load, but other elements are not so funny. Think Awake by Noel Yeatts.

There's not much to be glad about in these types of situations, right?

But something started to change when I began to apply this quote not just to my work life but all of life and what God had created me for and who He was calling me to be.

Guess what?

There's a hunger, not just out there, but also in me.

The kind that can barely keep up when life gets confusing. And then I play this song by Ingrid Michaelson because it's on my favorite mixed CD and Ingrid is awesome.
There's a hunger that my body remembers and I do the hard work to keep myself full -- on food and in the Spirit.

There's a gladness inside me, too, that doesn't have to be an idealized anything, because that's not what God calls me to. He calls me to see life as it is and know that there will be trouble -- but He has overcome the world. I can REJOICE in that!

This deep gladness comes from not letting the deep hunger take over.

It comes from seeing it for what it is and seeing that an awkward meeting is better than no meeting at all and that slowly, God allows the two to come together and make friends and this is good. All of life, not just work life, God calls me to remember this.

linking with emily today

Need an adventure? Tell me one place gladness and hunger meet in your life.


  1. I'm right next to you at Imperfect Prose this week. I can relate to the tug towards working with children and I too, have children's books burning in my heart. Loved stopping my here!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Great to hear we have similar interests. Good luck with your children's book ;)

  2. Julie, thank-you so much for posting this clip, I'm sitting here in tears, completely humbled by the bravery of these kids and the words of the song. Let's just say wallowing in self-pity has been the theme of the last week, and seeing something like this re-sets my perspective with a jolt. Yes, I have to deal with my own life issues, but when I become too self-absorbed in them, I can't take in the hunger of the world around me, that we are called not to just notice, but to take action against. I'm still working out what that means for me, where it is God is leading me, and trust Him for the courage to do it when He calls. Thank-you xx

    1. Yes, such brave kids. I kept replaying it myself :). I am glad you liked it...I love those moments that shift our perspective. Hope you have a good weekend, Alison.