Float Trip

Float Trip

(A poetic reflection on John 7:37-52, today’s Daily Office Gospel reading)

When Jesus said, 

“As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart* shall flow rivers of living water””

he was probably referring to the story

where the water came out of the rock in Exodus 17:1-7,

and maybe he was thinking on the side a little

about Proverbs 18:4 or Zechariah 14:8…

But I like to think

about what floats along,

carried by the power of that river.


More than once

I have stood on the banks

of the Mississippi or Missouri River

and have seen entire trees…

ripped from their moorings by flood or tornado…

floating down the “Father of Waters” or the “Big Muddy.”

Once I even saw a house floating down it.


Rivers have the power

To carry much more

Than I can ever hope to carry.

I am reminded

That God can carry what I cannot.


And when those old heavy burdens…
past pain
past loss

past disappointment

past anger

rear their heads in a new permutation

that distracts my mind from God

I remember

that there is a river

whose source is the land of milk and honey

where I no longer have to carry the burden

and can let it go into the water and float away

at whatever speed the river can take it.

The scary part, of course,

is that I must also get into the water 

and float under a power greater than me

that doesn’t tell me where it’s taking me.

May God give me the courage

to take a float trip

when my instinct

is to wear myself out swimming against the current,

trying to hold on to the thing that will pull me underwater.

Maria Evans splits her week between being a pathologist and laboratory director in Kirksville, MO, and gratefully serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri , as Interim Priest at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hannibal, MO. 

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