I thirst.

Approx. read time: 1:45 min.

This post is an excerpt from “The Fifth Word” in my book Seven Last Words and Eight Words of Easter: Meditations for Your Journey to Pentecost.

I thirst, you say at last.

With excruciating pain you heave your body upward and gasp for breath as the force of life escapes you. The scorching sun sears your torn and bloodied flesh. 

And now you, the Lord of Life, speak these humble words: I thirst.

I am startled, shaken and terrified to the core of my being, to see you, my Lord, so bereft of life. I stand in shame, convicted in my self-seeking as I behold the utter poverty from which you speak these simple words: I thirst. 

Marred beyond recognition is the lovely One I knew, who promised springs of living water. You were full of grace; you were God’s Beloved. 

Your goodness was more than this world deserved, more than I have ever deserved. 

Yet this world is where you chose to dwell. It is our wounds you chose to touch, our infirmities which you chose to heal.  

Your plea rings in my ears: I thirst. Your helplessness crashes through me. Your absolute poverty takes me to the bitter dregs of the poverties I try so hard to hide. 

Your utter abandonment to your Father’s plan smashes every illusion I have ever had of greatness and capability and success. I have carefully cultivated my life, while you have freely thrown yours into the mystery of God. 

Why don’t I just walk away now? 

I thirst, you say. It’s true: I cannot leave you, yet I cannot relieve you of your poverty before God and before the world. I cannot snatch you from the jaws of this hideous and unjust death. 

Like you, I am powerless before the inescapable ways of your Father’s purifying love.

I thirst, I, too, whisper now. These humbling words echo with a thunderous roar in my soul. These are the true words, which, if I were honest, I would have cried out long ago.

I thirst. Truth be told, I am delirious with thirst for God, just as you were, all along. 

Your words plunge me into the depths of my radical need for God, in whom alone my soul, with yours, can be at rest.


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