The Desert Route

Jordan, Desert, Wadi RumThere are nights I want to crawl into my own skin… how about you? The desert route seems the only one, making my rounds in the uninhabited wasteland of desolation. I walk around for a while and things get quiet. I realize, this might not be such a bad place after all.

I have nothing else but Christ, nothing else matters. If my mouth and my lips and my tongue must be dry and desperate for me to hear him, so be it. I’d rather die in a wasteland with Christ than in the lush entrapment of this world. Sin is sad and wretched. We hate to repent. We hate the truth. Turning inward is torturous. It is desolate, and waterless. I want to be good. 

We need an encounter with Christ, in the desert. We need an area devoid of life so we can give ours up. We need to be without water and food. We need to be hot and tired and alone.

Church is beautiful and needed. Don’t live without it. Let God move you there and eat and drink of Him. Make peace with your neighbors. Kneel. Repent of your sins in community. But God is not going to skin you alive in church. That requires the barren road, the isolation, the desperation to be found in Him. It requires us to want Christ more than anything else. 

How can we proclaim Christ if we cannot even face ourselves? Our pride and our own sin? Our hypocrisy, our religiosity. Deep inside is our desert, our barren, our wasteland, our messiah. It is uncomfortable to think our skin must come off to attain holiness. But time is running out, life is running out, we do not have time to worry about the pettiness of this world. There are souls who don’t have salvation. Our brethren are being murdered.  The world has achieved a new level of insanity. If we cannot, will not be bare before the Lord, who will be?

Want nothing else. Want for nothing else. Pant for nothing else. Read no one else. Dance with no one else. Love no one else like you love Him. Shift everything else to the side. Exist in the wasteland until you come out with the light. Until you understand where it is you need to be.

“Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, “Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”

Acts 8:26


  1. Melissa, this post reminds of some old monastic practices. It reminds of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, which I am sure by the topic you have encountered. An interesting note about the subject of that title is the way sin and evil were written about in the text. It’s something very real to them. An unfortunate issue that I find today is that we no longer talk about evil, it’s as if the post-modern world and its as if relativism has made it no existent.

    I am also reminded of Christ in the desert where he was tempted by Satan. Pope Benedict XVI wrote an excellent chapter on the subject in the first volume of his Jesus of Nazareth series. He writes, “The desert–the opposite image of the garden–becomes the place of reconciliation and healing…Once sin has been overcome and man’s harmony with God restored, creation is reconciled, too. (p. 27)

    It leads me to ask, do you practice any of the early Christian traditions of fasting, when it’s not obligated to do so? I wonder if I would be better equipped to conquer my own sins if I practiced our traditional customs more, if I placed myself in a spiritual desert of fasting so that I can reconcile with God and heal?

    Again, your words and the message again are both inspiring and amazing. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do fast when I am led, when I feel moved by the Spirit. Sometimes from everything, sometimes just food. I institute it when I need spiritual clarity, a breakthrough, when I cannot see. Fasting can also be from something other than food. I have taken several long breaks from blogging, some over 60 days. These are needed. It is like a progressive Lent. People want to run from the desert, but sometimes we have to run to it.

      Liked by 1 person

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