And Did You Get What You Wanted From This Life

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver


That’s what it all comes down to in the end; all the trouble, all the attempts of trying to make things work – that I do not feel myself “beloved on the earth”. And that I don’t know how to change that. It may not be true. But it is what I feel. For me, to read this poem is astounding – that someone could be so assured of having been loved. I’m amazed someone could say this. And I can’t imagine what that kind of assurance would feel like. What a difference it would make. My faith gives me a place of unconditional love. But this love can’t touch, can’t hold, not in the way a human being can. I have been told that the love of God should be enough. I don’t believe in a God who would say that. God knows we need each other.

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4 Responses to And Did You Get What You Wanted From This Life

  1. I can relate to your thoughts completely…

  2. Gene Brode, Jr. says:

    God’s love is perfected outwardly by the actions of his people. It seems too rare to find believers who will go out of their way for you, but when they do, I’ve felt reassured of God’s love in a tangible way. That’s how it’s supposed to be as I see it (compare 1 John 2:4-6 with John 15:12 and context).

  3. anyushka says:

    Hi Gene, thanks for your thoughts on this!
    God has been present to me very much in the love of my friends, absolutely. God is very much present to me without the help of people as well, quite often despite of what I experience with people. So this is not the love I need to be reassured of. I don’t think God’s love needs “perfecting”. It’s all it ever needs to be. In my experience, God’s love is enormously more spacious than anything we can offer each other. Unlike the love of people, God’s love is constant and complete… I know I have a place with God. I’m not so sure about my place among people, including in the relationships with my family, the church, or with a partner. And that’s what this question is about for me – not the wish to be reassured about God’s love, but the wish for constant and deep connection with people, safe relationships in which I can rest and relax, where I’m known and loved and accepted; stable relationships I don’t have to be afraid of losing. I lack a sense of “home” that some find in their family or in their faith community, or in a relationship. God is very much the balance to that, but not the replacement.

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