Tag Archives: Isaiah 38

New Year Flood


This was going to be a grand New Year post about resolutions and the like, but that was before the flood.

We had a delightful evening with some wonderful friends last night.  We are all a bit old for the midnight Auld lang syne bit so we said our good nights at a reasonable hour and tootled off to our respective homes and beds.  The neighbourhood did it’s best to keep us awake past midnight with fireworks resounding in our ears, but it was a poor effort and we managed to slip off into dreamland just after the witching hour.

After Church this morning, while cleaning up outside, I turned on one of the garden taps and the entire ‘mechanism’ came off in my hand.  The water spurted up into the air taking with it the tap, which disappeared down the drain–the only one, of course, without a wire grid.  The drainpipe drops about a foot then disappears around a bend, large enough for the kitchen sink let alone a garden tap.  I ran to the back of the house, pulled open the hatch that covers the water mains, and switched off the water supply.

Relief.  Of course the problem then was that we would be without water for New Year’s Day lunch (to which guests were coming) and beyond–not a good plan.  But that was not the only problem.  Cutting off the mains did not deter our intrepid tap.  Water was still pouring out.  Somehow it managed to swap its allegiance to the hot water system and was now spewing boiling water into the air.  In spite of our having a pressure geyser the flow continued until the geyser was empty so I had to switch off the electricity too.

New Year’s Day is not the best time to find plumbing supplies but we finally contacted a plumber who was still in town and had a spare tap (the right size) in his truck.  I met him at a convenient point across town, collected the tap, and raced home.  It fitted.  I turned on the hot and cold taps, ran all the air bubbles through the system, and switched on the geyser.  We were up and running, two minutes to lunch.

Our quiet time reading yesterday was Isaiah 35, a magnificent prophecy about abundant water in dry places.  Our garden is no desert.  We’ve had so much rain these last few days that the garden had no use for the additional water that poured out generously from the open tap; and the prophecy said nothing about hot water, for which our garden also had no use.

A garden tap directing water through a hosepipe onto flower beds or onto a dirty car, or a bath tap directing hot water into a bath, are useful to all concerned.  A maverick tap that showers all and sundry with hot and cold is of no use to anyone.

I pray that I will be a conduit of healing streams in desert places during 2012.  I pray that my writing, my prayers, and my contact with people this year will not be a shower of unnecessary words, glossing over hurts and ignoring pain but will be under the loving control of the Spirit; dare I call him the heavenly plumber?

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Life in Desert Places


A Desert Meditation

Written during a Life Revision Workshop with Jim & Heather Johnson at Beth Shalam, Pietermaritzburg, August 2010

Isaiah 38:4b-8 GNB

“Be strong and don’t be afraid!
God is coming to your rescue, coming to punish your enemies.
The blind will be able to see, and the deaf will hear.
The lame will leap and dance,
and those who cannot speak will shout for joy.

Streams of water will flow through the desert;
the burning sand will become a lake,
and dry land will be filled with springs.
Where jackals used to live, marsh grass and reeds will grow.
There will be a highway there, called the Road of Holiness.”

Only in the desert,
Not in our self sufficiency and self reliance;
Not in our comfort zones, or our frenzied worship of the latest trends.

Only in the desert,
In the empty, uncluttered spaces;
Only in the desert,
A place of dying to the false self, a letting go of all that I cling to,
all that defines me, that gives me a sense of worth.

Only in the desert, when I recognise my blindness,
my inability to see, to understand, to be wise,
when I recognise my inability to speak, to bring words of wisdom, hope, and love,
when I recognise my lameness, my weakness, my need to be carried.

Only in the desert, when all that is false has died,
There in the depths of the desert,
The earth will rejoice,
Water will gush out of the rocks,
and sight and strength and speech will be given.

And what delight and celebration there will be
as we walk the path of life together;

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