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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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"The Raising of Lazarus" by Caravaggio

"....Jesus called in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face."
"Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go.'" (John 11: 43-44)

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"Jesus came to give light, as a gift, not force light on us. A gift must appeal to freedom. It must be freely accepted as well as freely given, thus there must be the freedom to refuse it."--Peter Kreeft

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    "Lambs of Lazarus...Come Hither!"
                          or
("Now We Hear the Soft Commandment")

 

In this Vale where man is treading,
Through the shadow and the cloud....
Sin beguiling then condemning,
Hiding Truth in deadly Shrouds.

Though the Light's forever shining,
Cloud and mountain dim the day;
And like sheep, we all still wander,
In this wilderness of gray.

Sin has blinded Sons of Adam;
Cloud of Death hangs over all.
Dark deception robs his vision
East of Eden since The Fall.

"Expulsion of Adam and Eve"by Albrecht Durer

Mankind hides from this Good Shepherd.
He resists God's Helping Hand.
He turns back into the Darkness!
And rejectsThe Promised Land!

In The Valley of the Shadow
Sin's delusion mars the soul...
Sightless sheep dwell in denial;
Blemished....born outside The Fold.

"We're not lost!" they tell each other....
"There's no Shepherd from above!"
"Murky gray's our perfect cover....
And this Dark?......It's what we love!"

"We feel safe here in The Shadow!"...
It envelops like the womb.
Wool pulled over eyes of Reason....
Stillborn bleating from the tomb.

So, man lingers ever longer
In Death's Valley...Mother Earth.
Still The Father offers Blessing:
"Seek the Truth and Second Birth!"

"Good Shepherd", fresco, Christian catacombs of Rome (3rd century)

******

There's a Voice!....(Be still!... Be quiet!)
Did you hear that Gentle Word?
Like a breeze that whispers past us...
Calling out this flock interred.

"Lambs of Lazarus!....Come hither!
Leave this East of Eden Grave!"
Listen closely! ...It's The Shepherd
Who has come to Call...and Save.

*********

Lord, remind us Death was vanquished
By the Father's Risen Son...
And by Him the fog was lifted...
Bright Eternal Kingdom's come!

"Plains of Heaven" by John Martin (1789-1854)

Yes!...The Son dwelt here among us,
Veiled, Incarnate, for a time...
Mercy!..... God's True Revelation...
Sacrificed for mankind's crime.

******

Give us Grace to hear The Calling.
Give us hearts to heed The Word.
Give us eyes to see the Son Shine
Clearing up what once was blurred.

In this Valley of the Shadow
Lit by Grace and so improved;
There is Hope now.... Joy astounding...
When the cloud and mountain moves!

Shepherd, guide us through The Valley,
Toward the Sanctifying Height,
Where we see the Panorama
Of God's Glory and His Might!

Lord, You brought us to This Clearing,
Meadow green, a bright new day...
We can hear your Soft Commandment:
"Follow Me!...I AM The Way..."

Give us rest in this High Pasture...
Touch us, please..Restore the soul!
Then, Lord, take us even higher,
Where the streets are paved with gold.

Lord, with You we fear no evil....
You have set the prisoners free!
Now your rod and staff do comfort;
We were blind, but now we see!

******

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not
    be in want.
He makes me lie down in green
    pastures,
he leads me beside still waters,
        he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of
        righteousness
    for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
    through the valley of the shadow of
        death,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me."
(Psalm 23)

"Jesus Heals the Blind" by El Greco

*****

"Like men with sore eyes , they find the light painful, while the darkness which permits them to see nothing, is restful and agreeable." ---Dio Chrysostom

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"We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us seeing it."--Blase Pascal

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"If you do not obey the light, it will turn into darkness." --Oswald Chambers

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"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." --(John 3: 19,20)

 Fog lifting