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A Bowl of Cold Water

Our husky is old and on his last legs. Well, 3 of those legs. The fourth doesn’t work well any more. In fact, it’s more hindrance than help. His poor arthritic hip rotates in and, in his attempts at ambulation, takes him far afield. What used to be a straight line sees him 90 degrees off course, stuck at an unfamiliar fence railing that he supposed was an opening.

Poor guy. He can’t hear so calling is useless. You have to go rescue him and guide him back to the house, constantly prodding that bad hip not to give way. Even then, he stumbles and falls several times along the way. Down he goes into the grass and looks up at you with those bog, brown eyes that say, “You’re gonna help me up here, right?”

And I do. Then I do again. Stumble, fall, lift, amble…stumble, fall, lift… We’ve got our routine. It’s not pretty and it’s very slow-going, but eventually we get back to the house, up the ramp, out onto the porch where he spies his blue bowl. Actually, it used to be a kids bowl in the days when our children were small. It’s broad, flat bottom was perfect for little hands learning to handle cheerios or cut up fruit. Twenty years later, its blue plastic is rough and worn, but it’s stillIMG_5275 - Copy serviceable.lying thanks to the last drop

Silver starts to lap at the cool, clear water, but standing and drinking is too much for that hip. It sags and he staggers and lowers himself to the ground, trying gamely to keep the blue bowl between his feet. His back end slides and and his front paws walk their way down. Inch by inch. But the hip takes him sideways, the bowl out of reach. He looks longingly at its contents.

I lift the bowl and center it between those white, furry paws. Paws that used to bound through the snow, used to hold firmly to the coveted bone, used to jump high on the fence, used to ambidextrously bend and reach when I asked him to shake – his only trick, now a memory and probably only my memory. This helpless old guy is spent.

Yet, he happily accepts the bowl of water and sets to work lapping its cool contents all the way to the bottom.

Whenever we do it for the least of these we do it for You.

No one else sees. No one else knows. No one else cares. Somehow, it matters.

Who thought up water?

Isn’t osmosis amazing? Grapes swell. Roots absorb. Skin rehydrates. You know everything in the textbook that you slept with under your pillow last night…Well, all but the last one.

Who thought up water? Something so simple. Two H’s and an O. Specialized bonds that share charges in a way that attracts or repels. It designs its own environment. Goes where it pleases and in fact heads into the areas where it’s under-supplied. Where it’s needed most. Thirst is quenched, by chemical design, when water flows.

Psalm 107 says ~

He satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

Not to say he makes everything lush and green…

33 He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.

But just add water and voila!

35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry live,
and they establish a town to live in;
37 they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
and get a fruitful yield.

Wrinkles fixed. Cracks filled in. Hunger satisfied.

Whole again. Useful again. Beautiful again. Fruitful again.

Humanity is thirsty. We hunger and eat but are not satisfied. We are cracked and broken. Leaking in our disrepair. We thirst for a drink that will fill us to overflowing.

But look at this:

Gold in all the broken places

Gold in all the broken places

What a beautiful image. Our cracks filled with precious gold, more beautiful in their repair.

Godly osmosis.

Quenched and overflowing with water for a parched land. A thirsty humanity.

Just a drink of water.

Holy.

A thing at rest tends to remain at rest

It’s hard to wake up. Sleeping to waking is a tough process. Just ask my kid who I wrenched out of bed this morning to make the high school bus. It’s so much easier to stay in bed. Something seems almost to hold us there.

This is a problem, though, for my day. My obligations. My commitments. My deadlines. People are expecting things from me. Something has to give.

God, ever the impster, explained it to me this way yesterday:

My cup almost overflows

My cup almost overflows

This is my water cup sitting on my desk. I had put some water in it. Forgot. Then emptied the contents of my water bottle into it…. So, is it about to spill or is it overflowing with blessings? Panic or Praise? Same cup.

Yesterday, even though very full, found me totally praising God for creating water molecules with surface tension. Really astounding, that property of water. To be able to hold tightly with unseen forces.

Often, I fear the spillage or the leakage or the siphoning off. I’m cautious about my blessings after all. Wouldn’t want to waste them or mishandle them. So, I expect, more than I should, I hoard them. Hold tightly and refuse to let go. Kind of like I hold onto sleep. It feels so good.

What if I trusted the surface tension? To allow me to pour what needs pouring? To let the blessings flow smoothly? That does, however, require tipping or, in this case, required slurping 🙂

What a simple instruction God has for me today. I have filled your cup to overflowing and yet it does not spill. Praise God for the surface tension He is in my life. The force that holds it all together. Fullness is functional, then. So is pouring. Water, after all, does take the shape of its container.

No worries. I know what holds it together. That’s what gives it its shape.

Enough resting. Best get moving. Got a day to pour myself into.

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