The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom;“For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;”
Isaiah 35: 1, 6 and 7
December 6, 2017 | Skirting the Storm by Malcolm Carmichael
Our tired mission team finished work on the grounds of the Methodist Day Care station at Alcalde in the high desert of northern New Mexico. It was another late July afternoon near the end of the week’s assignment and the weather had, as usual, been dry, the sky clear. The hot land seemed lifeless, void of color, distinction and expectation.
At sunset a storm arose in the desert with blinding rain, lightning and heavy air that transformed the landscape. Water rose quickly in the arroyo near the highway and in minutes wildflowers emerged in the sand and the scent of pinyon pines stung our eyes. Life appeared in the desert and we ran laughing from our cars to embrace the rain, washing the dust from our sunburned skin.
I was reminded of the happening near Alcalde years afterwards through the painting “Skirting the Storm” by Karen Schmidt, seen below. The painting depicts a lone car on a desert highway under dark purple clouds. The tiny car lights shine in the distance like harbingers of advent. I realized that waiting does not necessarily mean idleness. Sometimes the storm is not to be avoided but engaged with; welcomed.
Prayer: Jesus Christ is like a storm in the desert. After His brief coming everything was changed. Amen.