June 3, 2009

Living Water

Last month I spent the morning with my dear anam cara friend, collecting rocks in a creek near her childhood home. My friend is in her '70s, so it's always special for her to return to her roots and share the area with others. According to her, things haven't changed too much over the past sixty years in the rural area where we were, so I was able to see a snapshot into her early years as a girl in the creek we were in. We parked the car in the shallow part of the creek, put on our rubber boots and gloves, and started searching for any rocks we wanted to take back with us, big or small. (We love rock collecting!) While wading through the water--getting off-balance at times because of the current--I was lulled by the sound of the water flowing and it quickly cleared my mind from all the internal chatter I had arrived at the creek with. I was able to let go of my oft-worrisome stream of consciousness and let the natural stream of water provided by the earth fill my senses, providing a much-needed mental break for me. Even the trees blowing in the wind echoed their own memory of the water that has nourished them since their days as saplings. Their leaves rustling reminded me of ocean waves, gently building in power and volume, then easing off, only to complete the cycle of mimicking the sound of ocean waves again.

Focusing on the water element all morning while combing the creek for rocks brought all sorts of water symbolism to mind. For instance, water itself is a wonderful example of a transformer. It changes shape to fit the environment it is in. If water is in a well, it runs deep into the earth at the source. If it is poured into a container, it will take on the shape of that container. If it is allowed to flow and spread, then it will do so, as in a creek. This reminds me to be flexible in life, yielding and bending and adapting to the life situations that arise in which I often tighten up and fight against, not allowing things to just happen . . . not surrendering and trusting God to be in control of each moment.

If you stop to consider that our bodies are approximately 80% water, then each of us basically operates as a mini ocean, full of water, salt, and oxygen, with everything constantly flowing and and maintaining life within us. Without water, there is no life. Likewise, without Jesus, the Living Water, there is no life. Through God's promise of the Living Water He provides for us, which is Jesus, we have hope that we will always have life . . . eternal life. And we will be eternally restored.

For now, though, it is enough to simply be on this earth, with a dear friend, in a creek, collecting rocks, listening to the ocean-like sounds of the leaves rustling. And when the water from the creek starts to fill my boots after taking a step in an unexpectedly deep spot, I welcome the elemental feel on my skin as a reminder to allow myself to adapt to situations with ease and fluidity.

WATER . . . . the ultimate healer, purifier, transformer.
JESUS . . . the ultimate healer, purifier, transformer.

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