Wilderness

Through the wilderness from Egypt to Canaan
we wander in circles.
Every day is something new…
and every day looks exactly the same.

“Haven’t we been here before?”
“No, look: we’ve never seen that flowering bush.”
“Perhaps, but the sting of its thorn feels familiar.”

Traversing wilderness in community is a blessing;
the laughter of children, the warmth of fires for cooking–
all suggest normalcy,
masking the desolation and loneliness.

“How long, O God, will we be unsettled?
How long until we can plant crops with roots
and dig into the earth for a permanent well?”

Moses admonishes that the wilderness is necessary;
we cannot reach our destination
except by this way.
So we keep on keeping on:

“Come, mother. Come, child. Walk a little further.”
“Please just let me rest awhile.”
“Hold my hand: look, there is the cloud of God.
We are not alone.”

Praying To What I Don’t Understand

O Holiness, O Mystery,
For just a moment, I attempt to wrestle
on the shores of how much I don’t know.
For just a moment, I leave on the river banks
my personified god with hands and heart and breath
In order to recognize that You—
You that is It, that is Everything, that is Beyond—
are not the tame-able god that I worship.

O Wild Imagination,
O Divine Contradiction,
You just might be both
Rock and Earthquake,
Calculated Orbit and Chaos Theory,
Devastation and Birth,
Yes and No,
Stunning in power and Helpless in love.

Injure the stable hip of my faith
so that I cannot walk without remembering
how much I don’t know.