Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Entry: Your Choice May 28 - June 1

Nahal Zin

The Desert of Zin

En Avdat, Israel

(c)Eva Marie Everson

I am thirsty. The desert sun is blazing over my head just atop the canyon walls. I stop along the rocky path long enough to look up, to gauge its position. How much longer, I wonder, before it dips behind the jagged cliff? How much longer before I reach the water that cascades from the rock?

When I begin my trek again, it is only to look at the feet of the one walking ahead of me. The path he takes, I take. The rock he steps upon, I step upon.

A single thought comes to mind and—taking my eyes off the one before me—I turn to speak it to the one behind me. I slip; the earth’s sand shifting under my feet and I quickly turn forward again, vowing to keep silent until I find my way to the promise of water.

Before long it comes. At first as trickling over stones, flat and almost level with the earth. Then as a rush, spilling to a pool below.

I step up. Up. Up, until I come to the shade cast by walls of cool stone. I press my back against them and look up once more, to the place where the eagle stretches out his wings and soars in the sun’s rays. I turn my head to the west and catch them as they dance across the rocks and up to where the water appears to begin. When I look away to where the pool ends and the stream begins, I see a reflection of the mountain, mighty and strong.

Mysteriously—though not a single drop of water has crossed my parched lips—I am no longer thirsty. This is the way of it, the Lord whispers in the breeze. This is the way of life. There are valleys so deep they have carved themselves far into the rock. You feel dry, nearly without the strength to carry on. But you keep your eyes on the one who walks ahead of you and the pathway becomes clearly marked. Easy to navigate. Take your eyes away—even for a moment—and you slip. You may even fall.

But that’s okay. You can always stand up—do you see my hand as it reaches for yours?—brush the dust away, and continue forward.

Forward to the rock that is higher than you. Higher to the water that pours itself upon a dry and weary land. Up to where the eagle soars and the sun dances, sending the mountains reflection to where the water flows.

And flows. And flows. Until it reaches the place where you began. The place where you will return again.

“Why did I have to come here?” I ask Him.

“You came to see the Rock,” He says. “To behold the source of the water. Understand this, and you need not be thirsty again.”

Submitted by
Eva Marie Everson

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