The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom.
– Isaiah 35 NRSV
We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.
– Golda Meir
Abram was born in Europe in 1938. He moved to Israel in 1949. As an adult he became an officer in the Israeli army followed by a career in business. After retirement he became a tour guide.
In 2009, Abram picked our family up from the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. At the end of the first day he said, “I see you are an open-minded family: I can give you the Catholic tour, the Protestant tour, or I can show you Israel” (along with most of the major biblical sites).
We spent the next ten days riding around Israel in a mini-van hearing the wisdom of Abram. He told us a great deal about his country, but a subject he brought up daily — and with great enthusiasm — was Israel’s agriculture. One afternoon, as we stared perplexedly at crops in the desert, Abram said, “This is what Isaiah prophesied; there will be ‘flowers in the desert’“.
Of course, the “flowers in the desert” are also a metaphor. In our lives, we can anticipate the “flowers in the desert” — God’s goodness breaking into our life. And we can have faith that someday:
Waters shall break forth in the
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of