“What are you afraid of?” he asked me, as we walked a boardwalk across a northern portion of the Everglades. The swamp was still, trees rising out of solid green algae. He told me the water is moving, slowly, slowly, even if we can’t see it. Otherwise, we’d be swarmed by mosquitoes.
I said the only thing I could think of, growing old and feeling like I’ve never done anything worthwhile.
“So it’s like a big existential thing?” he asked, and I said yes, I guess.
Did you know, Lord, that you could feel this – emptied, depleted in the wilderness?
Does the voice of the tempter sound just like your own, insisting, if you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. Do you stretch a hand toward them, trembling, wondering if you can fill yourself and end this hollow torture?
Do you remember that other voice, booming as you rose from the glistening Jordan, skin dripping wet, when the Spirit descended dove-like upon you, and your Father claimed you as his own?
Then that same Spirit drove you into the desert; you wandered forty days and nights. Did you know this world you gave life to could blister your feet and turn a blind eye, deaf to all your needs? Can you hear your Father in these dry stones, or do you perceive only silent, cloudless sky?