Friday, August 1, 2008

Down the Drain Forever

The photo depicts what used to be Roslyn Lake, five miles east of my house. Like tens (probably hundreds) of thousands of people, we have splashed, boated and fished in this very pleasant local waterway, and picnicked on its shores, but no more.

Roslyn was part of the Bull Run reservoir, and the stream feeding it was channeled through a most amazing wooden aqueduct. We used to drive guests up Phelps Road crossing under the aqueduct trestle and up the hill to park and look down on the clear, cold water hurrying to the lake below.

Not any more. The lake is gone, and (I'm told) the aqueduct is soon to follow, victims to a political system too deeply infected with environmentalism to tolerate the possibility that a fish might die.

I digress. I really use that picture and story to point to another one, penned by Mart De Haan in Our Daily Bread.

He writes about a sewage lagoon in Sand Lake, Michigan, that disappeared into a sinkhole. "Fifteen million gallons of water suddenly disappeared."

Even more interesting was that nobody knew where the water went. De Haan quoted a (befuddled?) county spokesperson who had the dubious privilege of offering an explanation to the press: "It will depend on where it went before we can say what happened."

Curious syntax, but one gets the point.

Here's the powerful spiritual parallel De Haan drew out of that intriguing story:

"I imagined all the wrongs of my life as being like that missing filthy lagoon. ... I really don't know where they went, but they are gone. The last time I saw the real guilt of my envy, anger, and impatience, they were all nailed to the cross of a Man suffering for wrongs He never committed."

In my teen years, shortly after my voice changed, my Dad put me on to a solo written for bass voice that was a lot of fun to sing. (I will not presume the same emotion on the part of the listeners.) De Haan's story reminds me of the words of that song:

"They are buried in the deep, deep sea.
They can never, never trouble me.
Cease my unavailing fears, for my sins of all the years,
They lie buried in the deep, deep, sea."