Waves of heat dance off the pavement, ominous vipers hissing, “don’t passsss by here…”
The neighboring cactus, equally uninviting: “Do not touch. Do not touch. Do not touch…”
The few green growing things, they all have claws. “I am not food. I won’t be harvested. I am not food.”
The sun– elsewhere mother of all– works here to push life away. “Do not plant. Do not sow. Do not plant. Do not grow.”
Driving all life inside; to shade, to cover, a forced-air shelter, a man-made cave.
Dust where all should be air and light. Cracked earth, hard as stone. Nothing moves. Nothing breathes.
It might be Mars. Or a midwest winter.
All creation pants and faints. Water, a far-off dream.
From dust, we were born…And to dust, we will return.
Thus reminded, the people go wandering, seeking:
A breath of life in the desert; water as yet unseen.
It rushes beneath our feet, some unseen wonder.
We catch a glimpse of green, struggling up for light, just as we go hiding from the sun.
Thirsty and failing, we move in the rhythm of an ever-living stream.
Somewhere, there is shade and rest. Somewhere, a well that can’t run dry.
We move, and a long-forgotten promise echoes over the wasteland:
Only the weary will seek true rest.
Only the thirsty find living water.
Only those who choke on the dust, will seek a breath of the holy.
“Don’t pass by. Do not touch. Do not plant. Do not live…”
But somewhere, a small hope sings to the wilderness.
I’m led beside still waters. My soul is restored.
Goodness. Mercy. Water from rocks, and manna from heaven.
It’s a thirsty benediction.
But we can wait.