At this higher elevation, the snow still covers the ground, but the warmer air is heavy with mist. As I stop and pull up my knit hat to hear better, only liquid sounds greet my ears: the gurgling stream and the chorus of tiny drips.
Beads of condensation shine like crystal pearls on the ends of twigs. I find a constellation of them to frame.
For he draws up the drops of water;
they distill his mist in rain,
which the skies pour down
and drop on mankind abundantly. (Job 36:27–28)
If water were wealth, at this moment, I would be obscenely rich.
Today, as I reflect on the news that Cape Town, South Africa, is in a severe drought, I am conscious of how precious water is. And how easily we take it for granted. I’m not sure why this news troubles me more than the typical drought scenarios of poor villages in other parts of the African continent. Could it be the urban setting drives it closer to home? Does it reveal a false confidence in modernity and technology to be adequate safeguards against Nature’s worst?
We deceive ourselves.
I am privileged to live where water is abundant. But it is a gift. All of life is a gift – down to the very air we breathe, the ground we walk on and the water we drink.
It is left to me to be a good steward of opulence. To be thankful. To work to provide water to drought-stricken areas. And to pray.
Oh God, mankind needs your abundance of water. More and more, Lord, we will face the limits of our ability to provide that most fundamental of needs. Help us, we pray. Have mercy on the people of Cape Town in their hour of need. In the words of Psalm 65, visit the earth and water it, Father, and greatly enrich it – so that the world may know that you alone are the great Provider.
T.M. has graciously permitted me to share a poem he wrote that dovetails beautifully into the theme of this post. Here it is:
A Ceaseless Flow
Beside Walden Creek,
Sevier County, Tennessee
This planet seethes with water: just below
our feet it oozes over, under, through,
around all obstacles, an unseen slough,
a silent sea; emerging, it will flow
down hillsides, follow ancient beds, and go
on steadily to cleanse, heal, and renew
the earth, conveying life itself unto
all living things. It ambles past us, slow
and humble here, unhurried, ever so
relaxed and easy, as it slithers to
the east of us to make its rendezvous
with other waters, in a ceaseless flow.
Such everywhere abundance whispers of
unfailing faithfulness and steadfast love.