Yesterday morning I decided to take a walk. There is a path I normally ride my bike that makes an 8-mile loop southeast of Mellette, and as I started I thought, why not? So I began walking the route. I cut it in half so it only was a 4-mile walk. As I went the air was crisp, but the sun was hot. Every time the sun went behind a passing cloud I would get a little chilled, and when the sun reappeared I would begin to sweat. The effect being that if you would have being driving around (as Jerry Zerbel was) you would have seen me with my jacket and ball cap off at times, and at other times with gloves and hood on.
On the last mile of my route the scene that you see in the attached picture caught my eye. A vast "wasteland" of tans and browns. Ground that has not warmed enough to begin allowing the life in it to spring forth. You could just see the traces of green trying to appear, but in this broad picture the brown is still overwhelming. As I stopped to just take it all in the song that began playing was "Light a Candle" by a group called Whiteheart.
In the song they sing a part that says,
And pray for love, pray for peace
Pray the world will be released
From the fear that locks us in the dark
From the hate that pulls us all apart
In the ashes there will rise a sacred flame
Light a candle
As I looked at that field I couldn't help but think that it represents our world. A large wasteland looking for love and peace, a release from fear and hate. And that the little shoots of green are those who the bearers of the light of the world.
It reminded me of the scene in Ezekiel where he looks out into the valley of dry bones. The Lord God told him,
"Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord God says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am Yahweh."
This is our calling as followers of Jesus. We live in a world that feels barren. We are surrounded by dry bones, BUT we are called to light our candle and speak into the darkness, to speak to those dry bones in the valleys and pray that the Lord God will bring the breath of life to those who are lost in darkness and do not have the light of life.
As Light a Candle states,
The city of faith cannot be hid
Let the fire burn on the holy wind
So if you want to change the world
And be a living flame
Light a candle
I am hoping to take my walk again next weekend. I may or may not see Jerry next time, but I do hope to see even greener fields. But even more I hope to see greener fields in the lives of those around me, but it is only as we speak the word of the Lord.
Let's be those living flames!