A desert in bloom

Isaiah 35:1-10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11

Since I live near Lake Michigan, I take frequent walks along the lake and gaze out at the water, which stretches to the distant horizon. Sometimes it’s still, sparkling in the sunlight, an oasis of calm soothing me on a hectic day. On other days, gray clouds gather overhead, waves crash against the breakers below my path, and water sprays high into the air. One day the water is a deep green, another day murky gray and yet another day dark blue—any of an array of hues and moods. My walks refresh and restore me, giving me new energy for work and family and play.

The water near my home contrasts sharply with the high plains of north central Wyoming where I spent several summers when I was a young woman. In that semiarid climate, I lived amid sagebrush and dust. Days were long and hot. When the rain did come, it was as a violent thunderstorm that passed through quickly and turned dirt paths into mud. But by the next day, the hot sun turned mud back to dust.


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