3 Mar

I have not historically been a fan of the desert. While appreciating its stark and often harsh beauty, I’ve always preferred rolling green hills and the ocean over arid landscapes filled with reptiles. However, I have to say that the desert is starting to grow on me a little. The more populated our urban environments, the more appealing the solitude and vast open space of desert plains.

Recently, while in the Middle East, I actually loved the desert climate of Israel and Jordan, imagining the early patriarchs wandering across those lands. I felt a sense of awe on Mt. Nebo looking out at the Promised Land as Moses did and fell in love with the Dead Sea, an oasis of blue and green in the middle of scorched red land.

Having the afternoon off from teaching this week in Tucson, my colleague and I took our rental car out to Saguaro National Park, a place I had never been and which wasn’t far from where we’re staying. Twenty minutes from restaurants and gas stations, one can find a pocket of nature void of cars, chaos and crowds. Cacti dart up from nowhere and appear to wave at you – as if they have emerged from a surreal yet beautiful cartoon.

Last week, I was really hard on myself for being nervous and not perfect when trying something new – as if anyone is perfect at something they have never done before… And yet when I look out at the desert – and see plants that could almost be viewed as freakish and definitely not “perfect”, I see nothing but beauty. I guess we are all perfect in our imperfections and that our Maker made us just as He intended us to be.

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