Love Like a River
by Diane Karay Tripp
Read Ezekiel 47:6--12 or Revelation 22:1--5.
I grew up near the St. Joseph river
in northern Indiana. Each summer I hunted for a baby turtle in
a sheltered channel where wild iris bloomed and driftwood logs
bobbed in the shallows. When I saw a tiny face peering over the
duckweed, I plunged my feet into the water, caught the turtle
and carried it home for a summer pet.
Sometimes my sisters and I paddled a canoe upstream, exploring,
and then let the currents carry us home. In winter we rejoiced
when the river froze over. When the ice was deep we shoveled
a clearing where we could exhaust ourselves skating.
Though the river was vivid in my life during summer and for a
few days each winter, most of the time the river was backdrop,
a silent presence ignored. Still, fish swam and turtles paddled.
Ducks were always around the
bend. Countless creatures floated in its currents and lived deep
beneath the waters.
The river speaks to me powerfully of God: vast power, relentless
currents originating in mystery and pouring into an ocean beyond
sight. Like the river's life, God is no less present because
The river does not cease to exist because I fail to see fish
leaping just when I happen to glance. God does not die when my
soul feels numb.
Our spiritual lives are often like the quiet face of the river-without
interest, reflecting harsh weather, frozen on a regular basis.
Yet under the surface, life abounds and currents are flowing:
God's presence flows in us and through us.
Today, if faith seems dull or dead, it is to deepen your faith
in divine life-to plunge faith beneath the surface of things
and to immerse yourself more fully in love.
Everything will become fresh and alive where the river of God
Merciful God, your love flows like a river, powerful yet
quiet. We take for granted, ignore and forget this river, your
greatness. Yet you do not forget. Nor do you deflect your power
from our lives. Peacefully, like a river, you work in our lives.
You sweep away the waste. You refresh what is stagnant. You open
new channels that your love might stream into your beloved yet
You know that one day this people will be altogether cleansed
and free, pure like a river at the dawn of time, tranquil in
your glory, welcoming your grace. Then how you will surge into
the world, a love with no enemies.
Merciful God, this day cannot come too soon through Christ our
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