Have you ever had one of those days where you want something, but you have no idea what that something is? I often find myself physically hungering for something satisfying that tastes remotely like water crackers and milk and honey; I can’t even describe the taste because I’ve never experienced a taste like it. Maybe that comes from years of an overactive imagination trying to process what manna must have tasted like. I feel sure that if I were ever party to some Indiana Jones search for the Ark of the Covenant, the thing I would be most interested in is the jar of manna. What did it look like? What did it taste like? Something to look forward to knowing in heaven, I guess.
The word manna is actually Hebrew for “what is it,” which is apparently what the Israelites wondered when God sent it to them for food. It wasn’t meat or bread or fruit, it was what-is-it. About once a week (maybe more if I’m dieting…) I crave what-is-it. But I never bother to look for some kind of food that will taste like what-is-it because I know I won’t ever find it on earth. That what-is-it longing is just my taste buds yearning for heaven in a way I haven’t learned to do with all my heart yet. There must be some balance to fully living each moment while waiting for heaven and the perfect love and justice and peace that come with it. After losing five babies, it is easier to see that life is extremely temporary and should be treasured as such, but it’s also easier to want to be in heaven where I can see the glorified bodies I never got to hold on earth. Not to worry that I plan to shuck off the mortal coil anytime soon – it’s just learning to balance another weird dichotomy of living on a temporal plane while always watching and waiting for eternity.