Have you ever been to the desert? I don’t mean places like the Sonora or the Sahara. I’m talking about spiritual deserts, places of dryness, loneliness, and discouragement where our strength fails, where our dreams feel dead.
Chances are you have been there, maybe more than once. If you haven’t been there yet, you probably will at some point in your life.
My own desert place was a pull-out couch in a NICU room at a children’s hospital. My three-day-old son lay in an incubator a few feet away from me, recovering from surgery. I lay on the pull-out couch recovering from childbirth and three days of intense grief and anxiety.
As I lay there staring at the ceiling, my eyes wandered to the window where I could see the cross on top of the dome of our cathedral, just up the hill from the hospital. I fixed my eyes on the cross, knowing that far below it sat a tabernacle, and inside the tabernacle was Our Lord, truly present in the Eucharist.
For the first time since my world had been turned upside down three days earlier, I felt that the Lord was with me, even in that desert of a NICU room.
I am a firm believer that, despite its aridity, the desert is a great place for growth. It’s not until we’ve been stripped of everything that we learn to be totally dependent on Him. We have no options left but to fix our eyes on Him, like the children of Israel when Moses lifted up the serpent (see Numbers 21:9). It’s there in the desert that He gives healing, consolation, and His unspeakable peace.
Our collective desert season of Lent is coming to an end. It is almost time for Our Lord to be lifted up for all to see. The redemption that comes from His suffering and agony is near. Get ready. There is healing in the desert.My own desert place was a pull-out couch in a NICU room at a children’s hospital. // Anna Coyne Click To Tweet
Are you familiar with the Desert Fathers? Read a few of their slivers of wisdom here.
Anna Coyne is a wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic Faith. She is a classically trained pianist who, after teaching for ten years now stays home with her three young children. but still manages to flex her creative muscles through writing, knitting, and gardening. She is proud to call Saint Paul home and loves everything about living in Minnesota, except for winter. She is a contributing author to our children’s devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.