Once you’ve lived through a drought, you never take water for granted.
California is in a severe drought this summer–the snow pack is only 18% of normal. After three dry summers, we are in a dire situation–not only dryness, but a lot of risk of forest fires. Some communities are facing more shortages than others, but all Californians have to cut back on water use by at least 20%. Even in restaurants, you have to ask to have a glass of water.
In our home, Steve and I have always used buckets in the showers during the summers (old habits from previous droughts are hard to shrug off), we only run full loads of washer and dishwasher . . . and this year I’ve added another way to save water. I have a big plastic bowl in the kitchen sink. Amazing how much excess water (normally going down the drain) there is to toss on plants and grass! Maybe this is one of the reasons why farmwives used to have kitchen gardens right out the back door.
Our church is sponsoring water wells in a village in Ethiopia. Each time I empty a bucket or bowl of excess water in the garden, I pray for this African village. It’s become a lovely link to prayer . . . and I feel a kinship to women around the world, through the centuries, who schlep water from a well. Imagine how carefully you would use water if you had to haul every bucket to your house.
You might be living in a state where water is abundant. (If so…lucky you! Oh…to have green grass, summer rains, fresh air.) Still, it never hurts any of us to remember that water is a precious commodity. It sustains our bodies and nourishes our souls. I love the role water plays in Scripture. The next time you’re thirsty, on a hot and dusty day, stop for a moment and imagine hearing these words from our Lord:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14).