01 December 2013

Elisabeth: Barren as a Desert

Luke 1:5-25

I'd come to terms with it.
No longer cried about it,
though I still felt the pain.
Nor did we talk about it,
though we still felt a pang
every time we saw them:
pregnant women, babies, children.
I'd come to terms with it,
but it still hurt.

It hurt to wonder:
It hurt to hear my friends
gossipping behind my back,
questioning why someone
who lives by faith
and walks with God
can go without blessing,
as a desert.

I'd come to terms with it.
We no longer even tried.
We hardly even prayed -
it was too late anyway.
I'd come to terms with it -
I had no other choice.
I trusted you knew
what you were doing,
though I could not understand.

How much greater the wonder,
how much greater the joy,
to see you turn this barren desert
into blossoming spring!
You have answered the prayers
I forgot that I said,
and in such a way
as I'd never imagined.
In me grows
the fulfillment of promise,
the beginning
of more wonders to come.

A voice cries out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord!
He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.


[December 2011]

Verses quoted at the end are Isaiah 40:3 and and Psalm 107:35. Isaiah 35:1 and 51:3 would also have done very nicely here. Actually the whole desert image comes pretty often in Isaiah, and it's what I suddenly had to think about while writing this. :)

Written while I was supposed to be listening to a lecture on Bultmann (well, I half listened...)

Note: the first two stanzas are hinting at the common belief back then that if someone lives a godly life, it shows itself in blessing; i.e. people expected God to answer a good person's prayers, and bless that person.

Picture by Louis Jean François Lagrenée

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