It’s funny how a word like “water” can trigger so many images, thoughts and memories.
One of the first to surface for me was The Rime of The Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
The futility of being surrounded by water but not being able to drink any of it. It gripped my imagination way back in my high school English Literature class and it’s stuck with me these many years since.
These words “water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” were on my mind when I first learned of the work of water.org.
If you don’t know about the world water crisis, if you haven’t heard the facts and figures concerning how many don’t have access to clean drinking water and sanitation, I invite you to check it out.
Actually, I want to take this a step further. I don’t just want you to become educated about water, I want you to make a difference. Get involved. Change lives. You may be like me and find the “solutions” are so attainable, so doable, so reachable, it’s crazy we have a crisis at all.
While I’m talking water, it also occurs to me one of the greatest experiences of God’s grace, Baptism, uses water as a channel of God’s love. As we teach, it was God’s Spirit that hovered over the chaotic waters of creation, it was from flood waters that Noah (humanity) was delivered, it was through the waters of the Red Sea that the people walked to freedom, it was across the waters of the Jordan that God’s people entered the Promised Land. We are born in water and through water. Our bodies are mostly water. Our planet is largely water. And all of this is brought to mind in Baptism.
What I have never considered, what I have chosen to ignore as I have participated in Baptisms is the polluted water young children are reduced to drinking, or the woman carrying a Jerry Can miles to and from the “local” water source, or the families living on hillsides alongside the open sewers. I think of the Biblical accounts of God’s goodness and water, but I have turned a blind eye to modern realities of water stories gone wrong.
It’s a choice and I choose to pay attention. I choose to work toward a solution. I pray you will explore you relationship with water as well.
Life is better together,
2 thoughts on “Water (Lent #29)”
So important! Thanks.
The word nerd in my loves that you quoted Coleridge here, and the humanitarian in me loves that you called for people to join in the fight for clean water. Great post!