FROM THE ARTIST
Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman
Hope is difficult to come by these days; the wilderness seems to expand toward the horizon with no end in sight. “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing” (Is. 35: 1-2). How does one cling to the nonexistent, vibrant purple petals of a crocus flower as they crouch in a barren, dusty wasteland? How does one reach for the cool relief of clear springs in a parched haunt of jackals?
Have you ever looked through a kaleidoscope? A kaleidoscope doesn’t expose your eye to anything that isn’t there. It takes what is in view, and with light and mirrors, creates a new, dynamic, luminous image. The overlapping, novel perspectives, light, and movement transform mundane and even unappealing subjects into vibrantly dancing masterpieces. Now, how does this relate to this text? I think it’s possible that when we face difficult seasons that seem unending, if we immerse ourselves in the light of the voices of prophets, move to a new vantage point, and try new perspectives, we just might be able to see the wilderness bloom.
In this image I chose a few of the many vivid visuals from the text and created a kaleidoscope of sorts. Starting in the center, crocuses bloom, weak hands are strengthened, eyes are opened, bodies leap with joy, burning sand becomes a pool, swamps are formed, and the light of gladness radiates from the entire composition.
We need prophecies like this. Please don’t get me wrong; there are certainly seasons of disappointment, devastation,and grief in this life, but we need not make our homes there. We could choose to shy away from such optimism during particularly difficult times while getting endlessly lost and settled into apathy and despair. Or, we could choose a better way, and hold fast to the stories of the joy that is to come.
Breathe deeply as you gaze upon the image on the left. Imagine placing yourself in this scene. What do you see? How do you feel? Get quiet and still, offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.