Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oasis {A Poem}

O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You;
my flesh faints for You,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1, ESV

The husband God gave me has a fondness for nature documentaries. A few years ago I gave him the Planet Earth DVD series as a gift, and we watched the discs straight through in what seemed days but was probably weeks.

The episode "Seasonal Forests" depicted the blossoming of Madagascar baobabs. In the wet season in that largely dry climate, the lily-like flowers on the massive trees open in a minute or less, in the dead of night, like gold and fuschia fireworks few human eyes see. At the same season in the same locale, the world's tiniest primate, the mouse lemur, wakes from hibernation. The cinematographer captures the little lemurs drinking nectar from the blooms for energy. As they eat* and drink, pollen coats their fur, and they carry it off to other flowers as the cycle repeats.

As I thought over those images, an analogy emerged and found voice in the following poem, which has been coming to mind persistently in this long Texas drought.

Make Your face shine upon Your servant—
Lighten desert darkness—
Unfurl, unfold the golden splendor of Your mercy
Like blossoms of baobab
Opening in the night,
Dripping cool nectar.
I’m thirsty, Lord,
Parched for You,
For the water only You can give;
You give in abundance,
Even in this arid emptiness.
You pour life-juice from Your very heart
As I wait on you in the night watches.
Let me bury my face in Your beauty,
Drink in Your elixir.
Slake my sandy longing,
That I may scamper off revived,
Clothed in fecund grains of glory dust.

*On a recent reviewing of the film, I discovered my memory had conveniently edited out the bit about the lemurs eating another pollinator, the giant hawk moth, which meal is the source of most of the pollen they transport. Oh well. Every metaphor breaks down at some point; now I know the breaking point for this one!

Quietly joining in the Imperfect Prose community today:


  1. I love to read words drawing on nature. Beauty here as I enjoyed all your words, the introduction and the poem. I could feel the sandy longing in my mouth, especially when I think of your area's dryness.
    Praying you all get literal rain and mild temperatures. Thankful you always have God's nectar.

  2. This is truly beautiful, Christina! I don't care about "breakdowns" :)

    I keep thinking about this drought, asking Him what it is He wants us to see, to learn, to repent of--in the end, it peels everything back, revealing our incredible need for Him.

  3. Such a lovely poem, Christina. It reminds me of last Wednesday night. We sang two of my favorite songs during our devotional time at church: "Better than Life" and "Desert Song". So my words to the song leader afterwards: "Thanks for the rain."

    Praying for spiritual and literal rain on you today, friend.

  4. Oh, I love this. Being in Texas myself, I take your words to heart and I KNOW this drought that you speak of deeply. I can't believe how much the dryness of our land has infiltrated into my life and my writings. Praying for rain with you...

  5. my heart bowed as i read this, such humility in your words friend. may you know rain.


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