WHAT DO I THIRST FOR? – Reflection for October 2008

WHAT DO I THIRST FOR? – reflection for October


Have you ever experienced a desert landscape? I remember once looking down with awe on the vastness of the Sahara from the safety of a plane thousands of feet up. Everywhere I looked there was sand, endless expanses of it. The Sahara is one kind of desert, and probably if we’ve never seen one, the desert we imagine would probably be a bit like it: sand apparently going on forever. But there are deserts we can enter in and journey through in our own lives. What are these like? A time of loneliness after loss, that seems to stretch on and on and on. A desert of illness; of alienation; of depression, and so on. An in-between time, when we can know great need, when we thirst for relief.

“Being in the desert is one of the central experiences of God’s People in the Old Testament, and eventually, looking back, they managed to find its meaning: “Crossing the desert was a test of faith for those who travelled with Moses. They were tormented by the lack of water for their children, their animals and themselves. We too can thirst, but for what? We can thirst for acceptance and belonging – the desire to feel at home – and faced with discrimination and division we can thirst for justice and equality. As the Israelites thirsted for water in the desert and their thirst was quenched, how often do we thirst for that strength and courage to imitate Christ’s example?”.

Who is my Neighbour The Westminster Diocesan Agency for Evangelisation, Lent, 2008.

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