Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert. Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain. Even lowly jackals will have water to drink, and barren grasslands flourish richly. –Isaiah 36:6-7, MSG
Hidden presence revealed in the subtle, vibrant buzz of life. In the desert, that hidden presence is water; in the desert of the spirit, it is God from whom life arises and thrives.
We need only look to our own lived encounters with Divine Mystery to detect currents of experience that seem to both affirm and deny Holy Presence. Times of loss and desolation remind us that, at least as far as human perception goes, God is not always here. “Trying to give one’s life to God can be a very lonely business, especially when God often seems absent,” laments the priest Felix in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Severed Wasp. And yet life’s suffering is sweetly balanced with startling eruptions of joy as absence gives way to the awareness of loving presence that gives and sustains life. –Laurie Gordon, The God of Barren Landscapes
- Where do you discover the Spirit’s hidden presence in the seemingly barren places of your life?
- When has your perception been that God is absent? When has absence given way to “the awareness of loving presence that gives and sustains life?”
- Prayerfully dwell with Isaiah 36:6-7. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?