This was written at a time when we lived in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey to the city of God must pass.
This writing was also prophetic of events that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct. 9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in the Way of Life.
The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and thirsty;
We two have been matched as partners in this stretch of our history.
The sun’s scorching face is forceful enough; from it I can find no escape,
No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my soul in its wearisome journey.
Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know where it began…
It started with greenery, then greenery and sand, and now it is sand upon sand.
Yet after some miles I’ve trodden and feel I can go no farther,
A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined for that very hour.
With leanness of soul and hungering for life, not a soul for months have I seen,
And all my possessions have slowly been lost, ’til much lighter my journey has been.
It’s strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter the life becomes;
The easier the life filled with comforts, the more ensnared in this wild.
Many storms form on the horizon, threatening I know not what,
And only the odd one materializes to give me the wisdom I’ve sought.
With serpents quite often threatening my life, and insects disturbing my peace,
I travel over jagged and treacherous rocks and long from this desert, release.
Many mirages have promised me life and so fair they are at a distance,
But somehow I’m learning the difference between what appears to be real and what is.
I cannot tell how much longer my wilderness journey will be;
I know only this: that I cannot turn back, not while I have yet to be free.
Methinks I have seen circling above, those wretched birds of prey,
Who hover and wait so endlessly, for their opportune day.
But I believe in the One Who has promised to keep me until that day,
And when it comes, it’ll be by His choosing, and with Him I’ll arrive to stay.
Israel, Sept. 79
Death and parting are never easy between loved ones whether they be righteous or otherwise but with the righteous there is the sure hope of coming together again, the hope of a resurrection. The sunset sometimes promises that hope to be fulfilled and while there is sadness in the departure of the precious, there is also a solemn beauty to temper the sorrow and speak of better things to come. It is only by faith that we perceive that the sun will rise again soon. Coral and lavender, Quiet magnificence; Tender departure, Peaceful farewell. Beauty and Sadness Clasping hands, Warmly embracing, Shedding tears, saying, "It's alright, it's okay!" Gently passing away. Stettler, Alta., Spring, 1987
I have heard it said many times that whatever divides is not of God. Of course, that simply depends on what is being divided and why. Is it not of God to divide sheep from goats, fleece from sheep, truth from error, heretics from the faithful, wheat from the tares? The problem is that those who make the statement above presume to be sheep or, they are under the false notion that pain and suffering and sorrow arising naturally from division are products of Satan and not of God. But these same people indulge in dividing others in the Name of God and think nothing of it. And does not God wound and break? Does He not call to forsake wife, children, parents and friends? Is forsaking easy and pleasant? If so, it would not be forsaking. I am not sent for division's sake; I do not come to attack; Strife and debate I do not sow, Yet all these are found where I go. I haven't come for evil's sake, Bearing trouble, sorrow and pain, Yet the sword I bear Will cut in two And each half in two again. There are those who wish to take the truth And claim it for their own But others, joined to them, declare "If you go, you go alone." I cannot help but cause this woe If I am to speak what is true; I can only hope as time goes on That your loved ones will come too. But you cannot wait for them to come, The time to take heed is now. Just as you cannot wait for yours, The call cannot wait for you. As friends increase, my enemies...
Little did I know when the Lord told me He would show me His people through His eyes that I was one of those people, that I would be shown not only by seeing as an observer but as partaker as well. And He too is a partaker of the sufferings of His people. “I am hurting, I am hurting!” He said to me. I know too well the pain, the death and hell we must all face, the iniquity we must be shown in ourselves and be purged of by fires. I have identified and do identify with His people. I just did not think, though I surely believed I was His, that I was, by nature, a partaker of all the sins and vanities of His people and therefore a partaker of the fruits of them as well. When the Lord shows one something, He shows him not by mere observation but subjection. Only then do we know and understand and relate. One day while praying quite dignified, I was forced to be relieved, And in an old cabin the Lord signified what in me He had conceived. I will show you My people by My eyes, their suffering and sorrow you’ll see; They live in weeping and gnashing and cries but proclaim that they are free. In their stoves burns no fire to give them heat, the wind blows through the walls; From broken glasses and plates they eat, and off its hinges the front door falls. Their power is void while idols abound; vain professions are on their tongue; No floor ‘neath their feet covers the ground, their possessions are no more than dung. These are His people the Lord lets me see,...