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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finding Life in the Desert, Observing Lent 2012

Desert Tortoise, Red Rock Desert
Via Wikimedia Commons, click for license

I have a rather intimate familiarity with the desert.

I love my mountain home, and prefer the forest, but having lived in the desert, or a twenty minute drive from it, for the past 20+ years, I find the desert to be a comfortable companion. 

I know that it is a harsh place.  I know that some call it ugly.  I also know that it has an acrid beauty that is difficult to describe to one who has not experienced it.  And I know that it hides life under its wing.  Clandestine, but bursting with unexpected verve.

I’ve been limiting my morning coffee to only Monday and Saturday mornings this Lent.  It’s been remarkably easy to do this, actually.  The most unexpected thing has been how much I enjoy that cup of coffee, when I do have it.

Desert Flora
 Near Twentynine Palms, Ca
Via Wikimedia Commons, click for license 
Lent is like that You think you are going to be sacrificing, but somehow, you get more than you give.

I imagine that I have gained more enjoyment from those two cups of coffee per week, than I generally gained from the many cups per week that I drank before.  Finding life in the desert packs a punch.

Desert Gold at Cinder Hill, Death Valley , CA
Via Wikimedia Commons, click for license 

Indian Paintbrush, Death Valley
Via Wikimedia Commons, click for license 
Spending seven or so weeks of Lent focusing on life analysis and repentance is difficult, a trial even.  But, the realization of the massive worth of the forgiveness of the cross is imminently sweeter than we could have imagined before undertaking the process.

Meeting a risen Christ at the empty tomb, in the dark, in the wee hours of the Easter vigil, before light bursts forth on Easter morning, can be life changing…if we have prepared to fully appreciate life, in a landscape of death.

Pax Christi Friends,
Keep Walking; there is Life in the Journey,

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Our Desert, CA
Via Wikimedia Commons, click for license 

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  1. I got to visit the Mojave one year when we'd had an El Nino year - and it was astonishing. Flowers EVERYWHERE. I saw lilies blooming out of the lava around Amboy Crater. Just astounding. I've never forgotten it.

  2. The deserts often do surprise us. It is in the time of need that we draw closer to Him. And in His graciousness He gives us just what we need and more.

    Thank you again for such a thought provoking post.


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