Ten pages in, I knew Fill These Hearts would be at the top of my favorite books lists. Few other Christian books feel so human; West is deeply in touch with the longings of humanity as well as our hope. Every sentence went straight to my heart, and I found myself excited to live, excited to be human, excited to admit my desires in hope of my destiny.
The main premise is that we all have universal longings–for meaning, for companionship, for eternal ecstasy and bliss. We know we want those things, and we know that this life so rarely fulfills us. In the face of thwarted desire, West suggests that we react in one of three ways: 1) the starvation diet, wherein we pretend we don’t care about those desires, 2) the fast food diet, wherein we try to fulfill our desires through unhealthy means, and 3) the banquet, wherein we lean into our desires and let them point us to God and his goodness.
I used to fall into the starvation diet category, miserable but in control. I was leery of people who indulged in their desires and arrogantly called them “sinners.” The past few years, thanks to mentors, books, and counseling sessions, I am learning to embrace the banquet mindset. I’m so glad West wrote this book (which embraces both theology and pop culture–my favorite!) to give language to my emotions. More than most books I’ve read, I hope everyone reads this one!
Fill These Hearts is a book about desire. Not trivial wants or superficial cravings, but the most vital powers of body and soul, sexuality and spirituality, that haunt us and compel us on our search for something. Weaving together life-altering lessons from classical and contemporary art, pop music, movies, and the Christian mystical tradition, West explores the ancient but largely forgotten idea that the restless, erotic yearnings we feel in both our bodies and in our spirits reveal the cry of our hearts for God. Along the way, West blows the lid off the idea of Christianity as a repressive, anti-sex religion by demonstrating that Christ came in the flesh to stretch and inflame our desire for love and union to the point of infinity.
Release Date: January 2013