I Thirst: Thoughts for Good Friday

“I thirst.”
John 19:28b

File:The history of Our Lord as exemplified in works of art - with that of His types; St. John the Baptist; and other persons of the Old and New Testament (1872) (14582766577).jpg

I thirst. Do you? 

I thirst for peace: a world of defused bombs and blunted spears; silence where screams are now; laughter where gunfire and nails pierce; families and bodies put back together; and all woven into God’s fatherly arms.

I thirst for strength; endurance where now I shrink with doubt; hope where I lose heart; communion where mocking voices lurk; integrity where soldiers steal my soul’s cloth; for me to be whole, fully alive.

I thirst for redemption; the Lord’s soft hand on my enemy who spits at me; reunion with those who’ve run from me; meaning for my wounds; forgiveness to pour forth from my calloused heart; my life spent on restoring people.

I thirst as well for things less noble; a thirst of greed and pride. An unquenchable, irrational desire for those things that only leave me empty.  I feel like the Psalmist: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death” (Psalm 22:14-15, NRSV). 

Yes, these thirsts lay me down in the dust; cracked land, sun perched high, alone, death awaits me. To whom might I cry for help? Who would come to such a place, for me? Might it kill them too? 

But when I pray, I see him: thirsty with me. “Trust me,” he says, his wounded hand outstretched to mine. “I know the way.” And so I put my hope in the thirsty one. He knew the way to me, and I trust he knows the way to both the water I seek and the water I need.


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