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Mud and Metaphors

The shore stretched out where the water usually flowed. After a long, dry summer, the river sank low. Now the autumn winds made it choppy like the sea. Up came miniature waves that chased the seagulls as they tried to land on the muddy beach. I thought about walking along the edge of it, but the mud showed its unfriendliness by the tracks and sticks caught in its mess. No, this wasn’t a beach to enjoy, it was a wasteland.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this place. Here my family and I take walks and hikes, bird-watch, and canoe the backwaters. We call it our substitute seaside. But today it resembled only a wasteland.

The song “Rivers in the Wasteland” by Needtobreathe came to mind. Their metaphor of a wasteland reminds me of our world affected by the fall. I mean it in a biblical sense, not seasonal. Sadness, suffering, and hardships surround us. But then the song gives a second metaphor: light streaming under the door. Here the story switches to show the listener a sliver of hope.

The Bible says, “…our hope is set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10, ESV).


Writing Prompt: Listen to the song “Rivers in the Wasteland” by Needtobreathe and notice their use of metaphors in the chorus. Then, in response, write a short story about a person you invent. Where does this person live? What is their struggle or difficulty? How can the metaphor of light shine into their story and bring hope?



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