We think we’ve managed something mighty when we tame the natural wilderness. But God is not someone who can be safely placed behind barriers.
Laurel Moffatt takes a trip down to the mighty Mississippi River. There, she discovers something that demands respect. What else do you owe a thing that can both divide a continent and bring you directly into its heart? That can both float a ship and sink it?
But it is also a place to contemplate our efforts to control the world around us. Here, we realise that something is lost when we bring the wilderness to heel, putting it behind barriers or up on a wall as a testimony to our own strength.
Rivers have a way of reminding us that not everything can be so easily subdued. And God has a way of reminding us that He is the one who does the subduing.
- John McPhee’s piece, Atchafalaya, published in the February 23, 1987 of the New Yorker.
- The following articles are also helpful for learning about how levees work, specifically the levees along the Mississippi River:
- The Atlantic: What We’ve Done to the Mississippi River: An Explainer, by Alexis C. Madrigal.
- National Public Radio: Levees Make Mississippi River Floods Worse, But We Keep Building Them, by Rebecca Hersher.
- Scientific American: The Problem With Levees, by Nicholas Pinter.
- Here’s Amazon’s announcement about the opening of its robotic fulfilment centre in Baton Rouge, and check this out for how this relates to the demolition of the old mall.
- And, for the reference to the hem of God’s robe filling the temple in Isaiah 6:1-2.
What is Small Wonders?
The clarity the desert brings. Hurricanes and hard relationships. Finding reason in the middle of a ruin. Small Wonders are quiet but profound observations about life from Dr Laurel Moffatt. In each fifteen-minute episode, Laurel uncovers lessons learned from broken and beautiful things that are polished to perfection and set in rich audio landscapes for your consideration.