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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Foot Washing: Farming Wounds

‘I will pour out on you a spirit of grace and supplication…

We will look upon the One we have pierced and will mourn as one grieves for an only child…

On that day, I’ll open a fountain to cleanse you from sin and impurity;

on that day, I’ll banish the idols from the land…

On that day, I’ll remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land…

On that day, every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision.

He will say, “I am not a prophet, I am a farmer.”

When asked about the wounds on his body, he will answer:

“These wounds I was given at the house of my friends”’ (Zechariah 12:10-13:6).


‘I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, the Church’ (Col. 1:24).


During a lush time of renewal at Vineyard Anaheim in the late nineties, John Wimber made sense of the increase of prophecy and other spiritual gifts: ‘God is filling up our “lake” so that we might direct the waters toward the poor and needy, targets—desert areas—we can irrigate and help make fruitful communities.’


In other words, beware of self-serving ‘gifts’: the water isn’t rising for us to splash around and satisfy ourselves. Mobilize to reach the lost and least. I heard him, and thought of Is. 41:17-20: ‘The poor and needy search for water, but there is none…But I the Lord will answer them…I will make rivers flow on barren heights and springs within valleys…’


God gifted us with supercharged ‘living water.’ Our task? Work hard, dig strategic ditches that will carry life-giving nutrients to those perishing without them. We at Desert Stream were well-poised to pick up our shovels. It was hard labor, but US cities and nations around the globe beckoned. We dug waterways to release merciful streams in their direction.


Jesus entrusted to us this marvel of love and labor, as foreshadowed by Elisha who prophesied: ‘Make the valley full of ditches…you will see neither wind nor rain, yet the valley will be filled with water…This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord’ (2 Kg. 3:17-18).  

Amid our ‘irrigation’ efforts, I recalled my childhood dream of becoming a farmer (true that). Maybe in a weird way I realized that dream as an adult. I rallied my fellows to dig ditches so that God’s best could reach the least. We who were sourced in ‘living water’ now lived to release it. No prophet me—just faith in gifts of Spirit including prophecy to release captives. 


We who are prophetically inclined need goals beyond ourselves where we can direct our gifts. And we need the wounding we receive in our efforts to keep us humble and human, reliant upon others and upon Healer Jesus to keep us on track to water this awakening land.  


Zechariah addresses these farm wounds when he points out the hurts incurred by friends, fellow members, who tell us the truth pointedly enough to puncture us. With friends like these, who needs enemies?


We must ask for Jesus’ heart toward the faithful who appear to oppose us but who in truth do us the favor of refining us and our efforts. They invite us to descend deeper into mercy for our own gaps and the new gashes these ‘friends’ incur in us.


Some farm wounds pierce presumption. I recall early on believers who wisely reflected that I was in no way ready to take on the giants of converting the whole ‘gay’ community: ‘Why don’t you start by coming consistently to this Bible study? Or stop mouthing off so much? Or overcoming porn?’


How blessed are we who bear farm wounds that burn off baby fat!


Others reveal our weak leadership, even when the ‘judge’ is an immature disciple whose critique is more whine than wisdom. Jesus still speaks through asses, and we can train ourselves to listen for truth amid the transference.


Other farm wounds are from power brokers who just don’t like us. Maybe their wounds mirror ours; deferred hope morphs into cynical unbelief and tempts them to smash our hopeful reflection. I’ve experienced this more than a few times in my Catholic world. This is sourced in compromised leaders who believe my hope is a danger to the faithful who can’t and won’t change. For them, I become an enemy of God’s house!


We who suffer rejection can quietly bear opposition, so that ‘friendly fire’ deepens love in us. Persecution for what is right (not poor leadership or presumption) unites us with the One forsaken at Calvary. He has unique authority to sustain us when friends betray us.


Remember David who in grief over Absalom’s betrayal of him received insult for injury by Shimei who cursed him mercilessly? ‘Let him curse’ said David to a defender… ‘It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today’ (2 Sam. 16:11-12).


Or St. John of the Cross whose reforms incurred a host of rejections from his overseers? He persistently forbade friends who sought to rectify these injustices: ‘Do not let what is happening to me cause you any grief, for it does not cause me any…Men do not do these things but God, who knows what suits us and arranges things for our good…God so acts with us, for He loves us so that we might love with the very love He bears towards us’ (The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross).


St. Paul, when pierced by the Church at Corinth, declared that Jesus transformed his affliction into a wellspring of pure compassion for them (2 Cor. 1: 3-7).


Might we who dig ditches for ‘living water’ to flow to the least in our parched communities be like the apostle? Only Jesus turns affliction into anointing. May we who irrigate the land—farmers who welcome the prophetic flow—allow every wound to further His way in us. We proceed humbled and hurt but not struck down.


May we dare to believe that wounds we received in the house of friends work miracles? Jesus trusted the Father accordingly.  From His wounds still flow ‘the River of Delights, the Fountain of Life’ (Ps. 36:8- 9).  

Join Andrew on Desert Streaming each week as he dives deeper into his blog. Watch here or listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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