Once, I was asked to speak to a group of Hebrew students.
When they told me they were studying Psalms, I asked them about the verse from where King David says “As a deer thirsts for streams of water, so I thirst for you, God.” (Psalm 42:2) “Do you thing this is an exaggeration?” I asked, “Or was King David only talking about his own feelings?”
Surely, I said, we don’t yearn for God like an animal dying of thirst yearns for water, and the class seemed to agree.
“But,” I said “we have all done things that we’re ashamed, we all have said thing we are ashamed of, and we have all thought thoughts we are ashamed of; How can we live like this? How can we live being ashamed of our thoughts, words, and actions?”
We all know the pain of shame and guilt.
To live in shame hurts terribly. It hurts more than the deer’s thirst for water in the desert. So, is it an exaggeration that we need God, that we need beauty and innocence and holiness as much as a deer needs water?