Wilderness “re-wilds” my tame self. How to re-wild? Get yourself into a place of lostness, a place with no easy resources, no pat answers. Maybe it’s a place you don’t want to be ‘cause you’ve been kicked out of the mainstream to the edges, or left in a huff, wounded; a place of loneliness, addiction, aging-and-not-liking-it, maybe a cancer ward, or living as a black man in an inner city that’s punctuated with gunfire.
Biblical figures who did desert often went in heavy and came out light—heavy with what was familiar, light as in skinny or lit up from within. People who didn’t use their familiarity with religion to underline “correct” beliefs; people who tolerated a sense of the numinous; people willing to face a fiery furnace or a lion’s den without surety they would survive. Let’s not forget: lots of skeletons litter the wilderness; no guarantee you’ll survive, wilderness stories are told only by the survivors.
Even in No-Faith’s wilderness of word or world,
Survivors carry a faltering habit of hope that
Jesus’ words will create a new world,
A fresh world, open for business.