The Longing Gaze
Husbands and dogs do it, and all those all-you-can-eat-places build their business on it. Yes, that burning gaze of food desire, eyes fixed intently on your piece of fried chicken or chocolate cake. You’ve just been groked!
Can I Have Some?
"Groke" is an obsolete, rarely-used word, an old Scots term meaning “to look at somebody while they’re eating in the hope that they’ll give you some of their food.” Truly. I got that from Google. Probably everyone has had the experience of feeling that imploring, give-me-a-bite gaze as you carefully avoid eye contact. By the way, want an experience in futility? Try to get the automatic spell check on your iPhone to not replace groking with grinding or groaning or “fro king.” (Yes, it happened.)
I think we need to bring that word back into common usage. It’s a great word, sorta spills off the palate, so to speak. We could expand it to mean not just the give-me-a-bite-before-I-die look, but longing in general. So, what are you groking for? Does your heart groke for the things of God? Really . . . it could work.
What do You Gaze at?
All that gazing at food reminded me of A.W. Tozer writing about “the gaze of the soul” in The Pursuit of God. In the chapter by the same name, Tozer writes about faith and points out that the Bible doesn’t give any philosophical definitions of faith, but it does give functional ones – what faith is in operation. Using various biblical examples, Tozer concludes that “faith is the gaze of a soul upon a living God.” It is that volitional, believing, inner, upward look of the heart to God, an operation of faith. I’m reminded of Ps. 34:5, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Just mediate on that verse for a while. Tozer writes, “When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us.” A beautiful image, worth groking for, don’t you think?