Wednesday, February 5, 2014
in the wilderness....
"And the dead tree gives no shelter,the cricket no relief,and the dry stone no sound of water."T.S. Eliot,The Waste Land
The Bible study that I have been attending every Wednesday has been a revelation.I guess that what it supposed to be.Today we talked about the 40 years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert ,punishment for their lack of faith in the God who called them His own.
The word B'midbar means wilderness in Hebrew and what comes to mind is desert winds blowing ,little to eat,no shade or place to sit.The road ahead is decidedly uncertain for this band of nomads so they followed the Ark of the Covenant and plodded along.This is history but also metaphor.When have I willingly gone into the desert,untethered to the Rock ,and sought my own path ?In that free desert place what were the new rules?What did my roots have to cling to other than my shrieking ego, making demands.
It is clear in my mind,this time of wandering.My focus was on filling that cavernous hole inside with bits of string,pieces of soiled paper and all that was not real.There came a turning.I cannot put my finger on the moment but it must have been a whisper..."what are you doing and where will this lead ?Picture it and tell me,is this what you want your future to look like?"
The head is bowed against the blowing wind,hair covered with a beige muslin scarf.Feet, slowly plodding ,step by step ,as each foot print is blown away.No shade,the trees are dead.At this point,the woman doesn't care which way she goes because whatever path is ahead will lead to more hunger,more thirst.Nothing will satisfy but will only increase the emptiness,the aloneness.Then the wind calms.It is noticeable.Ahead is a log and she sits and pulls her cape around her.Just then,a butterfly appears in this place.How can this be?It alights on the log and she hears this:"You are worthy of the Best.I am the Best.You have been in the desert too long."And she turns.