It may seem a little strange to talk about drought after all the torrential rains we’ve had this week, but the effects of last summer’s drought are just now starting to come to be. Estimates are now at $7.6 billion in losses to forestry and livestock. So, needless to say, last year’s drought is deep and everlasting.
I have to confess that I thought of the notion of “drought” because last night, I could not for the life of me, decide what to write about for today. I felt like I was in a “drought”. So, why not go with it? Lent is often characterized with drought. We practice giving up and letting go. Our worship is more reserved, void of celebratory “Alleluia’s” (although if we were REAL Lenten practicioners, we would live in drought during the week and then Sundays would still be celebratory!). To a certain degree, we who have much have to force ourselves into a 40-day season of drought. Why? Because it makes us realize who we are and what we need. It makes us vulnerable, open, receptive. It gets us out of ourselves. (It gets us away from what we WANT to do, what we think we SHOULD do, and listen…) It shows us what we need. Besides, maybe a little drought now and then does us good. After all we are drowning–drowning in work, drowning in our home lives, drowning in our relationships. We are drowning with too much to do and too much to pay. We are drowning in an image of someone whom we are not. And so, God gave us thirst; God gave us drought. Because when we thirst, we will look for what quenches our thirst. When our need is the highest, we will reach for something else.
I just had my crepe myrtles in the backyard trimmed. And once everything was cleared away, I realized that they had done what so many trees had done around us last summer. Thirsting and unable to quench their need in the deepest part of their being, they took their roots, their very foundation, and began to reach up and out, spreading themselves along the flowerbed. (And interestingly enough, even joining themselves with other trees, as if they are holding hands through the turmoil.) Even trees realize when they cannot fend for themselves. It’s a shame we have such difficulty doing the same.
So, on this twenty-sixth day of Lenten observance, think about what makes you feel like you’re drowning. And then think about what it is for which you thirst. And then thirst…
Grace and Peace,