The Voices in the Wilderness

The Voices in the Wilderness

Pain, suffering, disappointment,
“I’m going through the wilderness,” he said.

Heartbreak, sorrow, disillusionment,
“I’m going through the desert,” he said.

The wilderness, the desert—empty places of ultimate solitude.
Can God be there?

When the wind blows it brings no comfort—
only so many varied voices pulling at the hearing. 

Where are the ravens that fed Elijah?
Or, the angels who baked him bread?
Where is the burning bush that Moses saw? 

When do rocks start gushing water?
When does mana from heaven fall?

What ears hear the cry of prayer that leaves the lips?
What eyes see the knees bruised by rock and sand?
Has God forgotten those in the barren places?

The wilderness, the desert when will this journey end?
Can any comfort possibly be found?
What joy can replenish the parched spirit, the thirsting soul?

Has he misjudged his plight?
Did he not perceive there could be purpose beyond his need?
Can those wind-born voices be discerned as two?

Listen: one voice, plaintive, piteous would caress with defeat and
abandonment—the futility of life itself. 

Listen: there is another voice. Though also small, it assures, comforts and
understands—offering hope, promise, even more than mortal life. 

If he tunes in that latter voice, and concentrates on it alone . . .
the desert starts to bloom,
the wilderness reveals its beauty,
bareness vanishes. 

Words that bring healing gush forth,
now washed, cleansed and restored
the pain, the sorrow and isolation give way. 

The voice of promise grows stronger,
and the voice of defeat grows weaker.
The desert wilderness, no longer anguish, becomes provision. 

The voices in the wilderness give choice.
To which will he listen?
To which will he bend his will?
And which voice have you chosen?

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
January 10, 2018

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