For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground.
—Isaiah 44:3 (NIV)
DONNA SCHAPER | Annie Proulx in Bogs, Fens and Swamps accuses humanity of arro- gant self-centeredness. We imagine ourselves above fens, where peat is made, and bogs, where waters merge, and marshes, where water cleans itself.
We act as though water was real estate. We displace it at the drop of a zone. “House with a view.” “Waterfront.” Proulx argues, “In the end all humans will be haunted by the waters.”
No wonder the empty run on empty. Humans, Proulx argues, are not better than water; we are mostly water.
In the 1990 book, The Great Dismal: A Carolina Swamp’s Memoir, Bland Simpson admires a Carolina swamp. He delightfully praises the “genius of a natural place” and wonders why humans can’t leave well enough alone.
I once visited the Big Thicket in Western Texas. I used it as a constant metaphor for a de- cade, as though I were the thicketed, not it. What Proulx wants us to do is to “let sleeping bogs lie.”
How do we get the energy we need for our swamped, boggy, fenned, thicketed days? It is true we overdo in order to stay “on top of things.” What would happen if we learned to swim in the thick of it all?
What if we took a seat at the table instead of at the head of the table? Or befriended na- ture the way God did and does? I wouldn’t have to even mow my lawn anymore. I could meadow instead of being thirsty. I could stream.
PRAYER O God, when we falsely self-promote to positions of aquatic power or other kinds of misplaced power, wash us clear. Amen.

About the Writer:
DONNA SCHAPER works nationally for Bricks and Mortals, a NYC-based organization that provides sustainable solutions for sacred sites. Her most recent book is Remove the Pews.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.