Darkness drags back painfully. Hard, crackled earth peeks into blurry vision. Clarity inches in and soon all that can be seen is pained land that goes on and on and on.
Wilted flowers, that should be full of color, slump against the dirt that had sustained them. With the last of their energy, they cling to their petals having already lost their leaves. Deserted, they slumber.
Tall, burdened trees stand their ground eeking out what little life is left in the earth. Branches hang from weakened joints until, with a shivering crackle, they are rent from their base to smack and burst on the dry, dry ground below.
Coarse flurries of air stagger over the land dragging persevering roots of flowers from their beds and sweeping the litterings of the trees away.
The land creeps into your eyes, your mind, your soul. Oppressive air invades your malfunctioning lungs and bits of dust cleave to your throat. A cough sends some racing out raking the tender skin inside.
The sun has made sucking all the moisture out of your aching skin its goal.
Your eyelids embrace your eyes every time you try to blink so you stare and stare and stare since you have been robbed of the ability to lubricate your eyes.
A haze wafts through the air causing the landscape to twist and wave as it waits for you to die. Fissured lips grind apart to ease the departure of a single, impotent word. “Thirsty.”
An image sways through the haze. Closer and closer it glides until it casts a meager shadow across your eyes. Scarred feet pause just before your face. Too faint and too pained to raise your eyes, you murmur that word again.
Defaced hands wriggle beneath your smarting body and grasp your raw skin securely. As you wheeze in pain, a sweet sweet voice coasts into your mind, “My child, come with Me for you are weary and your body is damaged. Trust in Me and I will replenish your soul. Let me give to you My living water. You will never thirst again, for this water will become in you a ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14).”
*Originally written for Park Place Church of God’s Lenten Series