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Friday, January 2, 2015

Petrichor-my 2015 OneWord

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

Isaiah 58:11 ESV

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

I lived the last 7 years in a dry place. Life had been good. Life had been great at times, but like so much we learn, there is a point at which that which once sustained you is no longer enough. I opened my eyes to acknowledge that my lush life had degenerated into wilderness; my savannahs becoming desert dust. Where once there was life and hope, where water once flowed, nothing thrived save barren, useless waste.

Nearly 11.000 years ago according to science researchers, monsoon rains swept across the Sahara,  altering its landscape from unsupportive and devoid of human occupation into a region rich in vegetation growth, animal migrations, and domesticated livestock. Its thriving surface area extended  250 miles further to the south than it does presently. It was Eden reimagined, full of color, full of life and promise.

As was the case with the Sahara, God sent Living Water to transform what was stark and lonely in my life into something abundant, bountiful, and sustainable. While part of the story is about what was and what it became, for me the larger story is about that moment of intersection-the act of the rain transforming dry land into lush pasture.

There is an old song, “There is Something about that Name.”
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
There's just something about that name
Master, Savior, Jesus
Like the fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Let all heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away
But there's something about that name.

…like the fragrance after the rain.

God speaks to me in remarkable ways, and while I stumbled across this obscure and unrecognizable word weeks or even months ago, it sat patiently within my spirit until the moment I realized that in that word I’d found HOME. All at once I appreciated that the standard bearer of my peace lay in a Word-of-the-Day item buried in my newsfeed. An obscure word describing the scent occurring when rain hits parched earth, a phenomenon created only by the intersection of dry dusty land and rain.

I had no idea my word even was a thing, but upon its discovery it resonated with me that I've always loved that scent. I've been praying over my OneWord the past few weeks, knowing it had to honor both where I've been AND where I am.

 “For such an evocative smell, the word has a hard, scientific edge to it – as if wrought from decades of lab work, academic etymology and too little time spent outside, with a smile tilted up to the rain.”~ Mark Deeble

Maybe before I can convince you to love this word as much as I do, perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I am a confessed word nerd. I am fascinated by the etymology of language; the way words come into use and how there is a sound and sense for everything. Having lived the last several years wandering in a wilderness desert. I slowly learned that my principal lesson was that I was NOTHING without God, that I was irrevocably BROKEN AND that the only way to be healed AND freed from this place was by journeying through my own private purgatory into the embrace of an all-loving and all-healing God.

My 2015 word is Petrichor, defined as the sweet smell of the earth refreshed by rain; the scent released by the kiss of Living Waters upon Dry Bones and barren land. Petrichor is the product resulting from pounding rain upon parched earth and the beauty released thereby. Petrichor is a moment; the marrying of the dry AND the restorative, the profane and the Profoundly Sacred.

I’ll be spending the year in praise and fellowship here, and earnestly pray that you’ll join me. Among my personal goals for the year was to be fully present; dwelling entirely in each moment and each experience, relishing my Petrichor, the moment when the Living Waters struck my dry bones and I became alive again.

Blessed, proud, and honored to feature the work of Traci Michele Little as my One Word. Thank you, Traci

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

C'mon. Follow along. Please?