Desert Son

The desert wind whipped around me. There was sand everywhere – in my clothes, in my hair, in my nails, in my eyes. It even got into my mouth. I gathered my spit. But then I remembered the blood-water law of the desert, and swallowed my sand-filled saliva. The sand scraped my throat. Let’s not do that again, I told myself.

Again and again, I put my foot one step in front of the other. The sun came up racing his chariot of fire across the sky, then the moon prowled her way through the night. How many days and nights had passed? I had no idea. All that kept me going was the promise of the oasis, the intermittent twinkling blue that always seemed to be just out of reach.

And it was – out of reach. Because it was a mirage. Was it the illusion that fueled my hope, or was it my hope that made me believe in the illusion? I don’t know; it probably doesn’t matter. What matters is this – I have to continue trudging through the sand, the heat and the wind.

But where is your manna and your water of life? You said that if I walk towards you, you’d run to meet me with open arms. So where then is your fattened cow? Where is your best robe and the ring on my finger?

Or have I now become the Other son? Am I now the elder brother, because I’m more mature, because I’m more proud? Have I stayed home long enough so that I’ve become the non-prodigal one, the one that was left behind because you rushed out to meet he-who-was-lost-but-now-is-found? Am I now the one who gets rebuked for being envious?

Then maybe I should get lost again too, so that I may be found.

No, that is my resentment speaking. For you didn’t rebuke me, did you? You pleaded with me. Though you’re the Father, and I’m the child. You begged. How can I not acquiesce?

But how do I carry on? I’m tired of feeling this way; my heart can’t handle it. Maybe yours can. You have divine grace, after all. If I give you my heart, Lord, will you give me yours? 


sometimes, and only sometimes, i feel like this. surprisingly, i feel more spiritually dry than i was in nz. i go for mass more often now. but in nz, i kept up more w my personal prayer, had more convos abt god and community, more time to stare out of the window at nice open fields and think abt god’s creation and chat a little. ah wells. ups and downs. i think it’s silly how we can’t help the way we feel sometimes. though we know it’s completely stupid and wrong. this is where i take my own advice, that not everything is about the heart.


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About Mel

I dreamt I was a whale.