Water, water, water … There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.
— Edward Abbey from Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
Everywhere is Desert
The Desert Fathers believed that the wilderness had been created as supremely valuable in the eyes of God precisely because it had no value to men. The wasteland was the land that could never be wasted by men because it offered them nothing. There was nothing to attract them. There was nothing to exploit. The desert was the region in which the Chosen People had wandered for forty years, cared for by God alone. They could have reached the Promised Land in a few months if they had travelled directly to it. God’s plan was that they should learn to love Him in the wilderness and that they should always look back upon the time in the desert as the idyllic time of their life with Him alone. Continue reading “Desert Day 25: Desert Wisdom, What God Has Blessed …”
Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again. But those who drink the water that I will give them will never become thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give them will become in them a spring that gushes up to eternal life.
— John 4: 13-14
And the well runs dry. It’s one of the most common experiences in the spiritual life. A practice that we have cherished, a habit that has deepened us and drawn us closer to God, a discipline that we perhaps have engaged in for years no longer seems to work. Gradually over time or overnight with no warning, its familiar contours turn foreign, dull, perhaps even painful.
These times call us to some of our deepest discernment. They dare us to ask, Am I being called to go deeper in this practice, to persist, to keep digging toward the wellspring that surely must be here somewhere? Am I being invited to wait and to listen? Or is God leading me toward a different practice than the one I have known? Continue reading “Desert Day 20: When The Well Runs Dry …”
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong UNITED
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand Continue reading “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) …”
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
and the greatest of these is love.
—1 Corinthians 13.13
Loving is never just about opening our heart. It is about being willing to have our heart become larger as we make room for people and stories and experiences we never imagined holding. It is about being willing to have our heart become deeper as we move beyond the surface layers of our assumptions, prejudices, and habits in order to truly see and receive what—and who—is before us. Continue reading “Blessing That Meets You in Love …”
You arrived as a ripple of change emanating
from an original, unstoppable,
memory, a then made now,
entirely yourself, found now in the world,
now as creator of that world. Continue reading “The Wave …”
This morning no sound but the loud
breathing of the sea. Suppose that under
all that salt water lived the god Continue reading “New Religion …”
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, Continue reading “The Peace of Wild Things …”
In the heat of late afternoon, lightning streaks from a nearly cloudless sky to the top of the far mesa. At dusk, the whole south end of the valley blazes as the clouds turn incandescent with some distant strike. There is a constant congress here between the earth and the sky. This afternoon a thunderstorm crossed the valley. One moment the ground was dry, and the next there were torrents running down the hillsides and arroyos. A quarter-mile off I could see a downpour bouncing off the sage and the fine clay soil. I could see the rain approach, and then it hit, drenching me, and moved on. Ten minutes later I was dry. The rain comes from heaven, and we are cleansed by it. Suddenly the meaning of baptism is clear to me: you can begin again, and we are saved every day.
— Gary Young from Even So: New and Selected Poems