Desert of Roses

Hopefully you have noticed by now that the blog looks entirely different from the way it used to. And it also has a new name. I do have a reason for that. Ready?

Lately, I have been feeling bored with my blog. I mean, The Cultural Contrarian is kind of a cool name. It is valiant, sleek, and almost a sweet use of alliteration. But I’m bored with it. This last week when I wrote my blog asking for prayer about my trip to Haiti, I realized why. The essence of that name, The Cultural Contrarian, is opposition. To what? Culture. It’s about the fight, the argument, the disagreement. The boredom, I think, is a result of a slow refining process of the Lord teaching me that His Gospel is something far greater than that.

There are only so many things to find in this world to argue about. Though they seem endless, we live in terms of the finite, meaning there is an end to all things. There is no end to the Gospel. God has placed a Scripture on my heart over the last two weeks. It comes from Isaiah chapter 35 and it says,

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing (vs. 1-2).

This is the Gospel. That God, even in the most dry and desolate portions of our souls, can bring forth beauty and vitality in places where it could not grow on its own. That which was stripped of my life will be made glad. It will rejoice. It will be filled with joy and singing. Because without it, there is no life! There are things to which God stands in opposition, but that is not the root of His being. The Gospel is about life, freedom, and love.

I happened upon this Scripture when I purchased the new Disciple album a few weeks ago. Something I have come to respect about this band is that they almost always write their lyrics in a way that quotes Scripture. This new album has a song on it called “Eternity” in which the vocalist, Kevin Young, sings about what he believes his grandfather would say to him now that he has passed on and gone to Heaven. These are the lyrics to the chorus.

I’ll be waiting…
Where the desert is covered in roses [Isaiah 35:1]
Where I can outshine the stars in a single day [1 John 2:25]
The face of God isn’t hidden when I wake into eternity [Revelation 22:4]
Where the shadows are never discovered [Revelation 22:5]
Tears are nothing more than a memory [Revelation 21:4]
Death isn’t alive any longer when I wake into eternity [Revelation 20:14]

That vision of eternity captivates me. God is bringing us to a place where the desert is covered in beautiful roses. As I have considered that over the last couple of weeks and seen it manifest itself during my time in Haiti, I’ve decided that’s the story I want to be telling with this blog. The Gospel is not about being contrary. It’s about being compelled and transformed by the love of Christ.

I hope that explains it and I hope you enjoy. I’m still working out a few aesthetic kinks, but this is where we are headed. I’ll have my next post up soon. It’s all about Haiti!


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