Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Shane Kesterke
Elder, Mission Bible Fellowship 

Desert diversity


April 11, 2019

I love the desert. From the dry heat to cool nights to flash floods, there is a mystery about the desert to me that causes me to be filled with wonder at it. Having never lived in the desert, there is an unfamiliarity to it that seems to keep me slightly on edge when I am out in it.

Parts of the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States at first glance sometimes seems to be nothing but endless stretches of uniformity in its plant life and topography. It can have a feeling of harshness, making it hard to imagine how the Native Americans managed to live in it.

But when you get out in it on foot, you can encounter wonderful displays of uniqueness and hardy plant life designed to withstand and even thrive! From the lofty Saguaro (my favorite cactus) to the ground hugging Devils Fingers to the Beaver Tail with its pink flowers, there is a grand cornucopia of flora and fauna to amaze and delight.

As we were hiking along a sandy wash, I overheard my wife tell her friend that the desert is like humanity. (Yes, she is the inspiration for this, and for most good things that come from me!). If you look at humanity as a whole, it often isn’t very pretty. Watching the news will quickly give a picture of a multitude of problems between humans in our world. Wars, terrorist attacks, murders, theft, rape, riots, nations hating each other because they have a little more or less melanin, people groups fighting for centuries for reasons that they probably can’t even remember – we humans are often not a very pretty picture to behold.

But when you get a little more personal, when you get out among others, there is a wonderful diversity of personalities, abilities, passions about various things in life and people willing to be helpful in any way they can. Just like a cactus, if you get too close to some, you might encounter thorns – maybe even a rattlesnake, but there is a lot of good in individual humanity that comes from being made in God’s own image. Psalms 139:13-15 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”

On our flight back to Montana, there was an infant that had some kind of medical issue. The flight attendants asked for anyone with medical training to push their call button, and almost immediately at least a dozen, and maybe even 20, buttons were pushed. There were many willing to give up their quiet flight to try to help another in need.

After landing, we taxied to an alternate gate area to let paramedics more efficiently come on board and get the infant off to get help. We were delayed at least a half an hour before the rest of us could exit the plane, and I did not hear one person grumble or bellyache about the delay. I think everyone, or at least nearly everyone was glad to give up a little of their comfort and time to help that infant get the help he or she needed.

Just like the desert, there is a wonderful diversity in people everywhere and you are wonderfully made in God’s own image!


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