Monday, April 7, 2014

An artificial order

The last time I visited this stream,
 tourists had waded into its cool rushing water
                           and moved the rocks,
lining them up in a pattern of their own doing,
             artificial and stark.
It was obvious that someone had rearranged the order.

Their intervening alignment forced the water
into an efficiency it was never meant to have
and diverted the natural current of the water.
The afternoon recreation of a few people,
while I am sure was satisfying
               to the symmetrically-inclined,
changed the direction of the flow,
increased the force of the water,
began the slow process of eroding the banks,
and confused the commuting trout below the surface,
     leaving them without places of refuge or rest
                                           on their journey,
     no place of serenity to replenish their strength.
And this rushing rearrangement
 diminished the beauty
              and peace from God's creation
                                for the rest of us.
          Something was not right,
          that much we all knew.

This winter, hardy forest rangers
 waded in the icy stream
          with justice and cold hands
          and undid the damage,
                  making it right again.
Why would not the stones have been laid out in efficient lines?
God always has purposes
even when the rocks of our lives
are not in the order we would designate.
Why does something have to be
so difficult,
so radical,
so impossible
    before we recognize
    God's power in it?

God's faithfulness is not always in what I recognize or understand.  But He is still faithful.

The water is energized
        by the rocks in its path,
a victory dance
not afterwards,
    but in the middle of the struggle.
The way is not blocked,
and there is rarely
        just one way through this,
but one exit connects to another,
the beauty rippling,
a strength
   that the timid didn't know it possessed,
a hilarity,
seeing not an obstacle,
             but a joy ride,
a redeeming I dare not ruin.

Your way was through the sea,
Your path through the great waters,
yet Your footprints were unseen.

                         Psalm 77.19

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