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Crossing the Desert

— Tommy Teoli —

Drunk in a deluge of dry heat, I descend. My feet sweep tufts of dust from the arid floor. The torrid sun sucks the saliva from my tongue like an ethereal leech. All the land screams thirst. I am sun-stained in the land of sterility.

Moisture? A memory. Liquid? An illusion. The daylight devours my flesh until my skin becomes as cracked and dry as the land that surrounds me. I wade through a sea of suffering on the borderland of death.

Barrenness haunts these hills like a bad memory. The sand dunes sink and slope in search of rest, but find none. The land thirsts for a cure from this curse, but the empty sky only taunts with the illusion of an endless sea.

The heat scalds my face like an angry stare; its wraith-like ridges coil and ripple against the horizon. Salt-tinged shades of beige assault my eyes. The all-enshrouding waste numbs the hope from my heart.

But faith is the substance of what I hope for, the evidence of what I cannot see. I know there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, and I have a well of life bubbling up on the inside of me. I am a tree planted by the water; my leaf does not wither. When I  journey through desert and drought, my deep roots drink from an unseen aqueduct far beyond the reach of circumstance or season.

This is why I am here. I am the well through whom rivers of everlasting water will stream life and salvation to death and desolation.

Isaiah 41:18
I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
Psalm 107:35
He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.
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