Palimpsest: Living Water

John 4:5-30

baptismal font by Paul Granlunch,
Gustavus Adolphus Chapel
photo MMH
There just wouldn't be any you, me, or Fido the dog without the existence of an ample liquid water supply on Earth. The unique qualities and properties of water are what make it so important and basic to life. The cells in our bodies are full of water. The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes. Water's "stickiness" (from surface tension) plays a part in our body's ability to transport these materials all through ourselves. The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. No less important is the ability of water to transport waste material out of our bodies.

In a country without saints or shrines
I knew one who made his pilgrimage
to springs, where in his life’s dry years
his mind held on. Everlasting,
people called them, and gave them names.
The water broke into sounds and shinings
at the vein mouth, bearing the taste
of the place, the deep rock, sweetness
out of the dark. He bent and drank
in bondage to the ground.
— Wendell Berry, “The Springs”

In the wilderness of water
we shall all be drowned
the ocean cannot be compassed
I weep, I die
Put my tears in your bottle
I thirst
the water is in a cup
(O Lord open thou our lips)
I thirst
Is it any less water
because you have contained it for us
in a vessel we can touch?
—Madeleine L’Engle,  “The Samaritan Woman at the Well”

macro photo of water drop
photo by MMH
My Lord is the source of Love; I the river’s course. Let God’s love flow through me. I will not obstruct it. Irrigation ditches can water but a portion of the field; the great Yangtze River can water a thousand acres. Expand my heart, O Lord, that I may love yet more people. The waters of love can water vast tracts, nothing will be lost to me. The greater the outward flow, the greater the returning tide. If I am not linked to Love’s source, I will dry up. If I dam the waters of Love, they will stagnate. Can I compare my heart to the boundless seas? But abandon not the measure of my heart, O Lord. Let the waves of your love still billow there!
—Wang Weifan

All the chemical reactions that take place in plants require the presence of water. All movement of nutrients through plans and through the soil requires water. And water is also needed to give plant parts “turgor,” or firmness…Try to water deeply or not at all. Everyone runs out of patience standing there with a hose and is apt to skimp at the end, but it’s better to water only part of the garden and really soak it, or use a soaker hose or drip-irrigation system.
—Barbara Damrosch, The Garden Primer

· What are you thirsty for? How does God respond to your thirst?
· How do you experience God or Jesus as living water?

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