Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When the Desert Loves

As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks
homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As
God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal
life. St. Ignatius the God-bearer
I have never read much of the desert fathers (and mothers) but I understand the appeal the desert held for them. The desert has a way of calling to you after awhile. I never would have believed this, having been raised with weekends on the Pacific coast and the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range. These call too, very loudly........it is easy to see God there because the grandeur of that beauty speaks with a megaphone.

The desert is big sky.........and filled with remote and lonely places that only the cry of the coyotes fill.

And the desert is fierce and moody and relentless. At once brutal, so hot you can feel it in your eyeballs, and powerful and violent as the thunder rolls, the lightening flashes against the backdrop of eerie sky sending both human and animal alike running for cover as the hardened ground fails to contain the water that pours out of the sky in sheets. The wind blows and the dust swallows everything in its path. I challenge anyone to doubt God in a desert thunderstorm.

You feel the fierceness of the relentless heat like the Old Testament's descriptions of God's wrath in the summer time. You think you will never get through its oppressive agony. It is merciless, the way it beats down on you, month after month.Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God....... Then just when you think you can't stand one more minute.......that He may exalt you at the proper time.....1 Peter 5:6

And then.......miraculously.

It cools. You feel the release of its grip like the whisper of God's mercy. You walk outside and you realize something monumental has happened, something wondrous. It is the desert waking up.....The hope of that awakening is something a non-desert dweller could never understand.

We rejoice because we have made it through to the other side. It's a bit like rebirth......Doors and windows are once again thrown open, and new life begins once more.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:12 

I open the screen door for the first time today....Hallelujah!


  1. This was very beautifully written Lori.
    As much as I don't like the long winters with the endless gray days, I know that the springtime would not seem as fresh and vibrant had we not gone through the winter. We are so much more thankful for the brief respites during those long arduous seasons also.

  2. I can't imagine the desert. I just can't. But I can imagine the majesty of them, the evidence of God all over it.

    I equate the morning with new life -- I do. Each day for me these days is an opening, an opportunity, a gift. But these mornings are made sweeter by the season changing -- right now, the coolness of the mornings are a fabulous reminder of his creation -- His perfect, wondrous creation.

    "It is well with my soul."

  3. Thank you both :-) Yes, whether it's relentless gray or relentless heat, there is rejoicing when it changes....

    Yes, yes...I am a morning person. There is something so miraculous about having a another chance, one more sunrise! God is so good.


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