Monday, February 04, 2008

Desert Bloom

Desert Bloom, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well, I am finally back to civilization. (Actually, I began my return Friday afternoon, but there was a lot of driving and flying thrown into the last couple of days--it takes a long time to get back to civilization!)

The desert was wonderful! There was so much going on in that place, I'm really not even sure how to begin to describe it. While I was away practicing solitude, silence, fasting, prayer, and simplicity (among other spiritual disciplines), I kept a journal though, and perhaps it might be good to share a bit from that.

First off, for the first 16 hours of my solitude, the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree, and most of southern California received a record amount of rainfall. I believe in that little window of time they exceeded their annual rainfall. (And it's only january).

Among other things, what that rainfall means is blooms. Flowers that might not be seen for years finally get the strength to produce the most beautiful blooms. But the irony is that because the climate is so dry, the blooms only last a couple of days. I may be the only human being who sees the bloom featured above for a long time. What a rare treasure to find myself walking among these blooms in the middle of the desert on a cold winter day in southern california.

I found myself just reveling in the beauty and the fragility all around me in those blooms. And then I remembered this scripture.

"The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40.7-8)

Just like these flowers, we human beings are rare, fragile and beautiful people. Do we take time to fully appreciate that fragility as we walk through our day like I walked through the desert?

Furthermore, these flowers will be gone in a moment, but the word of our God endures forever. As I reflected on this scripture, I thought to myself, How much do I really treasure the scripture. What a beautiful gift! In the middle of a world of fragility God gives us something solid, and something enduring, and something even more beautiful than a desert bloom.

As you walk through your desert today, take time to consider the beauty and the fragility of the lives blooming all around you. Take time to consume the enduring words of God. And then, as you look upon this desert world around you, take time to share some of these enduring words of life to this fragile world.

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