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A Dry Land Without Water - Reflection by Chris McDonnell


With climate change increasingly evident, there are parts of our Earth that are seriously short of water, Low reservoirs, dried river beds reveal a harsh, cracked land, aridity where once there was plenty. The website for the Governor of California has this posting:

"With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. The State has continued to lead the way to make sure California is able to cope with an unprecedented drought."

The need for rapid readjustment to changing circumstances is now a matter of real concern for only when we lose something we have so long taken for granted do we realize its value and our need. That same principle holds true for faith. We bounce along week by week, secure in the patterns of practice, complacent almost, within our comfort zone. Then, it is there no longer. We are challenged to look at ourselves, our relationships, our church and our prayer, and gradually, that once strong lifeline is weakened and there is an overwhelming sense of loss.

The psalmist captured that loneliness when he wrote:

"O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory".

Psalm 62 expresses our fragility and our desire, our weakness and our need and in spite of difficulties, a confidence and trust

A couple of years ago, I wrote these few lines.

Whilst we sleep.

A time of certainty
whose edge gives way
to a time of doubt,
resolved only
by a mystical experience
from a place within.

A night-long candle flame
a darkened space.
We sleep
until stillness greets the dawn.

Through all the current world-wide turmoil, the Christian community is not excluded from the struggle. We too experience strife and difficulty. The psalmist at the conclusion of Psalm 62 writes

"On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast".

A salutary word and an expression of immense trust.


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