Reflection on Isaiah 43:16-21 by Lesle Gwynn Garrity
This Lent, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the changes we can’t always see. Seasons shift with the waning and waxing of light. Cells expand and divide. Hearts grow more full of compassion or more brittle with resentment. Wounds heal from the inside out. Often it’s not until a crisis or an abrupt disruption that we notice what has already changed. In this text, the prophet appeals to a people once enslaved but set free. Time has fogged their memories; new challenges have short-sighted their hope. The prophet reminds them that God is always in the process of making all things new.
In this image, a widening river cracks open the dry desert. In the foreground, a grassy ledge springs forth with wild grasses and blooms. As a viewer, where do you stand in this landscape? Parched and hopeless in the desert valley? Kneeling for healing at the water’s edge? Or swaying with the wildflowers, looking out at it all? No matter where you place yourself, you are not bound to stay there. You are in the process of becoming. Can you perceive it?