Living in the Mohave desert, I know a bit about dryness – aridity. There is less than
5 inches of rain a year, and every living thing compete for what precious moisture is available. Plants and creatures have learned to adapt to the lack of water. Still, it is sometimes so dry my skin actually feels as cracked and fissured as the clods of dirt beneath my feet. I long for moisture, running for face cream like a child runs to grab a stick of cotton candy. After slathering on the cream, my skin begins to loosen, open up, and the tightness is eased.
There are times when our soul is in a similar state of dryness. We pray and cannot feel the presence of God as we once did. We find that the practices that once nourished our soul seem empty of meaning or warmth. We feel our spirit is languishing and we may even get to a point of no longer caring. Instead of trying to regain our spiritual fervor, we simply dive more deeply into our daily lives and grow even further away from our soul and God. Spiritual dryness is competing for every drop of our spiritual passion.
Fortunately, relief can be as easily found for our soul as for our face. When I recognize that my face is taut and screaming for moisture, I simply walk to the bathroom, open the jar of face cream, place a few dots of it on my face, and experience immediate relief. It is no different with our souls. In the moment that we recognize that we are in a spiritual desert – when God feels absent and our daily life has consumed our spiritual passion – all we have to do is stop for a moment, breathe deeply, and turn our glance inward where God dwells. For God is always there waiting – waiting for us to see our need and move closer. God glances back, and in that moment, our soul loosens and opens up. Passion again begins to seep in and soothe our soul.