I may be taking this too seriously.
Sometime between 1982 and 1985, Isaiah 35 was given to me as an icon of my vocation. My understandings have changed so much since then, that it might be good to reconsider now whether this text still reflects my heart’s desire.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus 2it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
3Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
but it shall be for God’s people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
9No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Like Isaiah 40:3-5, this passage deals with a highway by which God will lead the Jews back to the Holy Land from their exile in Babylon.
I have always wanted to be one who encourages the distressed, as in verse 4. I have at times brought forth language in contentious situations, that brought “light,” insight and resolution to partisans who had been blinded by polemic. This history encourages my longing to learn to “heal with words;” as per verses 5-6a, Luke 4:18-19 and Matthew 8:8.
The streams in the desert (verses 6b-7) were the first visual image/metaphor to come to me of what I want to accomplish. The waters here are identified with the Holy Spirit, as in John 4.
This chapter may express less what I’ve wanted to accomplish all my life, than what I’ve always wanted to accomplish all my lives (sic). I have discussed with my therapist and others the possibility that my “vocation” may not necessarily be the same as the means whereby I will make money.