This text is of interest to me because Jeremiah was a prophet who lived in one of the most troublesome periods of Hebrew history prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 587B.C. followed by the Babylonian exile. Like then I believe we live in disruptive and uncertain times (terrorism, earthquakes, wars, global economic crisis, environmental crisis) today. I look for companions who have been through catastrophic disruption and survived with grace. I want to see what they went through, how they made it and what it was like. In my own life I have experienced very difficult times where it seemed I was drinking from cisterns that leaked leaving me empty, hungry and unfulfilled. Contrasted with other times where I have been in a place where I experience love and grace powerfully in action, I am soaring, fully alive and life has a wonderful sense of fulfilment and abundance.
For me there is a link between the concept of the Golden calf and the broken cisterns so I am exploring how I might represent them together within my current work. My inner hunger and thirst is connected to the things I desire, love and “worship” but often the things I have thought would give me fulfilment have left me empty, disappointed and hungry.
“Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see!
Throw up your hands in disbelief – this can’t be!”
“My people have committed a compound sin:
they’ve walked out on me, the fountain
Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns –
cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves. vs 12 – 13
Peterson, E.H. (2002). Jeremiah Ch 2: 12-13, The Message: The Bible in contemporary language. Colorado Springs, USA: Alive Communications.