Over the past couple of days, after I acknowledged how close I have come to being completely overwhelmed by my circumstances and called on my friends to voice a prayer in my behalf, many have responded with a brief word of assurance that they are doing just that. I am so grateful.
Some have offered words of counsel and a few have suggested a specific pattern of behavior designed, I assume, to encourage me to take proactive steps to extract myself from this “slough of despond.” I truly believe that all this counsel and all these suggestions emerge out of the purest of motives and are shared by people of integrity and compassion. Again, I am grateful.
In light of all of this, I know that what I am about to say may seem to contradict my expressions of gratitude. It may come across as the very opposite of appreciation. I hope that will not be the response, but I am willing to take the risk.
To a man dying of thirst, whose physical strength is depleted, whose store of inner resources is as dry and barren as the desert wasteland around him, voices telling him there is water just over the next rise, although well-meaning, can ring hollow and heartless.
To a man with nary the stamina any longer even to lift his head, a hundred feet might as well be a thousand miles. To a man dying of thirst, there is but one essential commodity in all the universe—water. And he is powerless to reach it on his own. Someone must bring it to him, lest he die.
Here, then, is my prayer today. It is conveyed through a musical setting, and reflecting my age and my pilgrimage, it hearkens back to an earlier generation in style and content. Thank you for indulging my nostalgic, but nonetheless authentic, reflections.