Arid Spirit

"'I led you for forty years in the desert. Your clothes did not fall from you in tatters nor your sandals from your feet; bread was not your food, nor wine or beer your drink. Thus you should know that I, the LORD, am your God.'" (1)

"A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!" (2)

"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes." (3)

Desert Heat

An arid desert is my heart:
A wasteland scorched by sun and wind.
The cacti, barbed with shame, impart
The wincing words: "My Lord, I've sinned."

Oasis waters, which consoled,
Were vaporized by noonday sun.
And hills, once decked with wheat of gold,
Are drifting dunes -- has the wind won?

A wretched thirst shrivels my soul;
I cling to faith as my tongue cleaves.
My heart is parched to a dustbowl;
Arid spirit -- nothing relieves.

Desires are the desert winds
Which parch the heart beyond relief.
When trials scorch and grace rescinds,
Cling to your faith; bear with belief.

For those who brave the desert heat,
And stand before desires' blast,
Will find their strength of faith replete,
They will not fail; God's grace will last.

The desert yields a detachment,
Which culminates with a great thirst;
Then grace will come as a torrent,
And fill the heart until it bursts!

(c) Paul Buis, 2001

1. Deuteronomy 29:4-5
2. Isaiah 40:3
3. Isaiah 35:5-7