Water From a Rock

March 28th, 2011

Jamie Spray, dual degree student
By Jamie Spray, master of divinity and master of arts in conflict transformation dual degree student

Exodus 17:1-7

“The people were thirsty for water… and they grumbled.”  When water flowed, it flowed from an unlikely source.  From a dry rock in the desert, life-giving water flowed.

During Lent, we strip back our excesses and take on practices that reveal our true thirst.  Along the way, we may also find ourselves grumbling.  We are preparing soberly for Jesus’ Passion.  It is a season of death that longs for resurrection.

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to come to terms with my doubts about the Resurrection, so I talked   to my spiritual director.

She told me to keep my eyes open for signs of resurrection around me appearing in unlikely places and unexpected forms.  I wanted to turn my eyes to the Great Resurrection, but she insisted that I turn my eyes to the small, unexpected, unlikely resurrections of my everyday life.

So, that Lent, I took on the habit of looking for signs of resurrection.  With time, I started to notice in me and around me the ways in which life was emerging or reemerging in places I did not expect to find it and in forms I might not otherwise have noticed.   Finally, when Easter came, I was able to enter the joy of the Great Resurrection in a way I had not for many years.

Reflecting on the story in Exodus, we see that Moses, too, looked for signs of resurrection in the most unlikely of places.  In the face of a grumbling, murderous people, he looked for the Presence of God.  In the face of water scarcity, he looked for God’s provision.   And in the face of a barren rock, he looked for God’s promise of a fountain.

This Lent, as we become aware of our thirst and our grumbling, may we be people who look for signs of resurrection, especially in unlikely places and unexpected forms.

4 Responses to “Water From a Rock”

  1. Hannah Says:

    Thanks for this reflection Jamie, and for the lift of the eyes, the heart to look about expectantly. Grumbling really can be deathly and gratefulness so full of life. thanks for the reminder.

  2. Darwin EMS MDiv '07 Says:

    As I prepare for my Wed Lenten Luncheon message, I thank you for your contribution as I continue to think through the passage as I look for resurrection in unexpected places.

  3. Emma Frederick Says:

    Thanks, Jamie. It was a surprise of joy to see you on here! Just today I felt the Lord telling me to come with open eyes and ears, expecting some suffering but ready to be surprised by joy. Your reminder to look for resurrection adds another dimension that I will carry with me this season.

  4. Caroline Says:

    Thanks, Jamie. I see “unlikely resurrection” even in the cold rain today. There is something comforting about rain, too. There is “life emerging” in the most unexpected places – let’s look there!