When God gave me the idea for this blog, I began making a mental list of all the “rooms” in my heart and life that I might want to dig deeper into on the blog. Obviously I needed a Motherhood Room and a Wife Room, a Homeschool Room and a Health Room, a Kitchen and a Craft Room, a War Room and a Prayer Closet. But never once did I think about adding a well.
For the past 5 or 6 years, our family has had the joy of sponsoring a child through Compassion International. We chose an older child because we know most people are drawn to the younger ones. We sponsored a girl in Mexico for a few years and when she became 18, her circumstances changed, she no longer needed sponsorship, and so we were able to sponsor a new girl who lives in Colombia.
Our family loves to read her letters and learn what life is like for her in Colombia. She shares her interests with us and sends us Bible verses. We send her pictures of our life in Florida and prayers to encourage her in her faith. Sponsoring a child is such a simple thing to do and aside from my daily prayers for her health and heart, I must ashamedly admit that I don’t think a lot about our sweet girl in Colombia and the trials of her life. God forgive me. I am changed.
You see, two weeks ago my husband flushed one of the 3 toilets in our home and an ugly brownish, rusty looking flow of water poured into the bowl. A quick flush of the other toilets and a turning of the sink handles showed that we indeed had a water issue.
I immediately picked up my phone and began texting neighbors to see if this was a big problem or if it was just in our house. I was relieved to find that the county had hit a water main and that they were working quickly to repair it because that meant that the solution wasn’t going to be paid for out of my pocket. Still, I grumbled about having dirty water and not being able to wash our dinner dishes right away. I got annoyed every time one of the kids asked me (again!) if it was ok to use the bathroom and if they should still flush the toilet. I was put out and I wasn’t happy about it.
God forgive me.
Today I rifled through the mail, looking for a check I’ve been waiting on, disappointed to see that it wasn’t there but happy enough to see another letter from our sponsored child. I smiled as she told me she bought a beautiful new purse with the birthday money we sent her. I nodded as she explained that winter was coming which meant lots of rain and that she really prefers rainy days most of the time. I like rainy days, too. But it was what she said next that lunged my heart into my throat and brought tears to my eyes.
Most of the time, I prefer rainy days. Maybe, one of the reasons is because we lack water when it’s summer, so I have to go search for it in the wells that are far from my house. How accessible is the water in your community?”
Oh Lord, forgive me. Suddenly, every thought that I should have had about her before came to the forefront of my mind. How far away does she have to go for water? Does she go alone? Is it safe? Is the water safe? Is it enough? How often does her family wash clothes or bathe? Does she have safe drinking water? How far away is “far”?
As I sit here in my comfy chair at my desk, typing away on my fancy computer, protected by a nice house with a new roof and refreshing air conditioning, I wonder how I can possibly tell this child that the water is extremely accessible in my community. How do I tell her that I have 3 bathrooms with running water in my house and that I have complained that I wish we had 4 bathrooms like we used to have in our last house? How do I tell her that I haven’t walked anywhere far from home to get anything for a very long time? How do I tell her that I sit in a hot tub of water every single night and then drain it all away when I’m done?
I can’t. And while I reach out to her local Compassion workers to find out how we can help get clean water into her community, I can also tell her about the Well that never runs dry.
Jesus was no stranger to wells of water. John 14 tells us the story of Jesus asking a Samaritan woman for a drink from Jacob’s well. In that conversation the Son of God tells the woman that whoever drinks from the water that He gives them will never thirst again. He gives eternal life that satisfies our soul and quenches our thirst.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.”
As I make note of the various rooms in my heart and life, I pray I will never neglect to pay special attention to the Well. The next time my water pipes are rusty or the county needs to repair our lines, I pray that I will remember the Fountain of Living Water that resides in my soul. And the next time I take a hot bath or grab a drink of water in my kitchen, I pray that I will remember our sweet girl in Colombia who is excited about collecting rain water so that she doesn’t have to trek far from home to draw water from a well. God forgive me. I am changed.