Sunday, December 15, 2013

would I choose the steppe?

The Isaiah readings for today are brilliant poetry:"The desert and the parched lands shall exult:the steppe will rejoice and bloom."The steppe,that barren ,frozen, hard land of the North.I picture it and shiver.I read a book once about a young Polish girl and her family who, being deemed"capitalist pigs" by the invading Soviet Union forces in 1941, were sent to the steppe,in Siberia.These are the words that come to her as she steps from the train onto the platform :"And beyond.Beyond was eternity.Flat,desolate ,treeless world without end."

"They will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song."Isaiah goes on.And here is why,"Here is your God,he comes to save you."

So we take the Word to heart and realize that we are not being told about a place but a state of being.One of gushing ,lavish joy and blooming spirits.This is what is guaranteed by our God.What must we do?This is my favorite line...."A highway will be there called the holy way,....and on it the redeemed will walk."

Being a visual person,this image has always spoken to me.I recall the day in 1971 when I became aware that there was such a road and in my mind I climbed up onto it and began my journey.And then another day when, years later ,I gave my heart to God and took his hand on the path.Surrender to the path and the Way.Perhaps this is why the Camino always called me.A path with an uncertain journey ahead.It has taken me along time to trust this journey and not know what lies ahead.No guarantees that I can see.

And so I get another visual.What does my inner landscape look like?Is it a desert of gloom and spiny plants,dried up pools,endless stretches of bitter salt flats and hopelessness.Do I know where I am going or am I stumbling between sand dunes.We actually have a choice.We have a choice.Rejoice !

I think of Corrie Ten Boom, living in a German concentration camp with great trust.These are her words:"never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

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