Where the river flows


Where the river flows 


Through the woods where I walk there runs a small stream called the Sarre Penn. In the hot, dry summer last year the water was reduced to the smallest of trickles before disappearing completely. Now after winter rain the stream flows fast and free.



I often walk down to look at the river. After heavy rain sediment changes the colour of the water. Small waterfalls form where fallen branches lie across the stream’s path. The play of rushing water mingles with the sound of blackbirds and thrushes as they awake to a new spring. When the Sarre Penn is flowing like this I feel its delight. When the river runs dry I sense how it longs for rain. But even without water the river is there in the shape it has carved through the trees; it lives still: hidden but waiting.


There are times in my life when I rejoice in the tangible flow of God’s life in me. It bubbles up in wonder, excitement, hope and a keen awareness of presence. Then comes seasons when the riverbed is dry. I feel my weariness, my heavy step. I am daunted by the obstacles in front of me and the weight of my own being. I miss the immediacy of the Spirit’s flow.



And yet, the flow of God in my life has carved its deep channel. If the water seems to fail in season, the shape of generous love, surprising intimacy and faithful presence hold firm. The rain will fall and the river will dance.

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