Friday, May 8, 2009

Wasteland Grace

Sometimes this doesn’t feel like a miracle at all.

It feels more like a slo-mo nightmare.

Or it feels dull and gray, like a drizzly day.

When it’s like that, I just want to go to sleep and maybe not wake up for a couple of years.

…Wake me up when it gets interesting again…when we get to the climax of the story...

Wake me up when God “shows up and shows off,” as they said he did at the beginning of this odyssey.

I’m not big on the persevering-with-joy thing. I tire out too easily. My bones ache. I hurt all over. Then I become like my grandson when he’s tired…grumpy, whiny, petulant, and impatient. Sometimes I even have a meltdown, too.

I start forgetting the Red Sea, and focus instead on the hot, dry, boring desert. Oh, it stretches out in front of us forever, I think. How long will we have to plod through this arid wasteland, dragging our feet in the sand? Shoulders slumped, staring down at the creepy crawly things. Looking for a little idol or two to clutch…anything to numb the pain for a while.

Then the coyotes start howling: This is it. There’s no oasis. You’re just going to stumble around in circles for the next forty years. (By that point, they’ll be carrying you on a stretcher.) You’ll never live to see the Promised Land. Your family will never inherit the promises. It was all in your imagination, anyway.

But then I stub my toe on a sharp stone, and it reminds me of my little rock collection. (Okay, God, now I remember why you make me carry those rough gems around in my pocket.) I take one out and rub its smooth, cool surface. It feels reassuring in my hand, like a rosary must feel to a committed Catholic. A reminder.

I am not strong or brave or disciplined or particularly wise. But somehow the small stone of remembrance revives my strength, and I look up.

Just ahead, I see a little yellow flower of hope, peeping out from beneath a desert rock.

And I set my face like flint towards Jerusalem.


“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)

“The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
 he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. 
Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” (Isaiah 51:3)


Blessed said...

Oops! I'm new to all of this blog stuff and posted my comments under "Old Cracked Pot" instead of "Wasteland Grace." It doesn't matter, I love them all!

Rayni said...

You and Katherine are amazing inspirations~ God's love, mercy and grace shine forth in both of your writings. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Besides having suffered the rupture of a brain aneurysm, I have muddled through the past 17 years with MS. Some days I have a pity party and just cry. Then I ask God to forgive me, and carry on as best I can. I think God understands those moments and He is so good to forgive and give the strength to carry on. So carry on, with His love and support. Again, thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for praying for Kristen, too. I continue to offer up prayers for all of you. And please, keep writing...

Kristen said...

Thank you for this post. I can "see" it so clearly in my head, the way you have written it. I am discouraged today and feel like i am in a desert, but He sends me reminders....

C said...

Oh my gosh, brilliant! Thank you for your honesty during this awful time.

I feel the same way so often!

Portland, Oregon