Monday, November 20, 2006

The Miracle of Manna

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve heard the stories of Moses leading the children of Israel through the wilderness and how they lived on something called Manna. More recently, I’ve studied the life of St. Mary of Egypt and pondered long and hard the lessons she had to teach me. But all of that was done with the mindset of the word “desert” or “wilderness” being interpreted from my own cultural experience. I grew up in Arizona where we have desert that is lush with cactus, wildflowers and other plants. A variety of birds, reptiles and mammals roam the land. I could well imagine someone surviving there. Granted, it would be difficult and painful at times. But it seemed possible to me.

Now that I’ve seen the Sinai, the whole concept of wandering in the wilderness takes on a whole new meaning for me. I am in awe that anyone could stay alive in that land. The miracle of manna holds a whole new sense of the miraculous. For miles and miles there is nothing but sand and rock. On first impression it seems like utter wasteland not even a lizard would claim. But after being there a while, I truly could sense why it would be the perfect place to let the soul grow quiet and learn to put absolute trust on the Lord.

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