There’s a water pump at the house where I come from – A broken water pump, disconnected from the water source – Or maybe the water source has run out of itself. I used to imagine the stories its handle could tell – stories from the hands that pumped its water for everyday living, maybe when Lafayette came through, of settlers trying to find a town on the main street of its wilderness, the response when it broke.
The broken pump, a mute reminder of a history full of water for living existed long before I wandered into my grandmother’s backyard.
There are days I feel like that water pump, broken, nothing to offer, nothing to pour out. Nothing to satisfy those needing the right response, wanting something other than I have to offer, or when the history of my brokenness crashes into today’s living, leaving me reeling, falling backwards and for long and short moments am bereft.
That I myself am the source (water supply) and the means (the water pump) – that I am created all sufficient and have become broken, useless, valueless – that is the great deception. I was not created to be all sufficient or broken. I was created to be whole in His abundant sufficiency. I was created to exist with Him.
My source is not empty. My source does not deplete. My source does not break me. Life without Him breaks me. Only if I chose to live brokenness, let yesterday’s story write today’s plot – then I cut myself off from living water. living hope. wholeness. forgiveness. joy. blessing. unconditional love. belonging. . . .
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3)
He reminds me, infuses me with His living water. It flows through my heart and soul.
Through His living waters, I live.
Through His living waters, I can pour out myself to others.
Through His living waters, there is something worthwhile to give others.
Through His living waters, I am not broken and empty.
Through His living waters, I live blessing. Through Him, I am not like the broken water pump.
“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11)
And, I read in a book I had wandered away from, meaning to return – like those visits with a neighbor that so bless you and happen far too infrequently – but I returned and found generous, welcome blessing when I read what God says to Bossis in He and I: “You’re amazing, aren’t you, when you are told that you did good to someone in such and such a country? You see, it is not you who did this good; it is I through you. If only you knew what goes on in your soul when My blood purifies it. . . My grace goes farther than your soul” (Bossis, He and I, 36).
Like living water, pumping through me, pouring into thirsty hands, bringing salvation, bringing to the Father. Yes, what He puts in us needs to be given and in turn given, and given unendingly – this stream of living water.
Something has been pulling at the edges of my thoughts, wanting to get closer – that this imperfection that we are – God isn’t surprised that we are imperfect – after all He created us. We are imperfect, incomplete without Him – and, like a seed planted, He expected us to grow into who He created us to be. It is only a surprise to us, I think, that we are broken and incomplete without Him, like a broken water pump, separated from its source and in that separation becoming broken.
Choosing to live brokenness or blessing – I choose blessing – and with blessing, comes living waters that cleanse the eyes of our souls, enabling us to see the blessings God leaves for us. Please join me in Ann’s challenge at A Holy Experience as I learn to see the blessings God brings me daily.
116) Re-discovering He and I by Gabrielle Bossis and wondering why I wandered off the first time, but so glad I wandered back
117)2 red cardinals taking flight across from my mailbox
118)My oldest son pointing out where one day 8 red cardinals stood under a tree in the snow
119)2 red Cardinals calling home calls outside my cracked window that blew in crisp air and nature noises
“You see these little birds alighting on your chair, in the garden, on the table, on your hat?. . . Before an evil person they would fly away, I don’t fly away” (Bossis, He and I, 39)
120)My littlest boy officially becoming an uncle in the holding of his new niece, and holding her again, “Don’t hold her like you’re putting her in a headlock” his oldest brother advised in his oldest brother way that never gives offense. This littlest boy who never had a baby brother to hold laughed sheepishly, and let his sister-in-law teach him how to hold. . . this new baby
121)Nonstop talking about a new niece all the way home.
122) Bedtime prayers and God Blesses, big and little talking, including bedtime plans about what he will do when he holds her again, and mommy thoughts that think if he could, at 7 am. Tomorrow morning, he would be sitting on their doorstep, waiting to hold her again.
123) Telling my teen the Super Bowl menu: hot wings, Chocolate Chip Brownie Delights, mozzarella filled tortillas – and tortellini soup – and watching the smile just spread across his face
124) Hearing him tell his friends, “I won’t lie to you. My mom makes the best hot wings.
125) The boys going shopping with their dad with money they earned – and coming back with jackets, running pants, and shirts.
126) Good morning moments with God, recognizing Him with me.
127) Finding blessing moments that bring balance to living love in the wobbly world of parenting teens.
“You see how imperceptibly the year passes by, its seasons slipping away. It’s like that in spiritual progress. So be patient with your slow pace” (Bossis, He and I, 39)
128) The littlest boy telling me, “Ms. ____ says she will have a heart attack if I show up in long pants.” Because all my boys have such a hard time going from shorts to jeans/sweat pants. Maybe how the outside reflects change shows have the inside struggles change.
129) Telling him, “Make sure someone has a cell phone handy to dial 911 – in case she does have a heart attack” – and my little guy looking surprised at my humor, “Good one, mom. Really! Good one” – like they don’t think I have good humor within me.
130) Watching him climb out of the car at 7:26 with a huge, saucy smile on his face
131) Learning how to cook for 3 sons instead of 5 – and seeing my grocery bill shrink
132) The history of my brokenness crashing into the day, threatening – and my husband loving me through the moment, seeing me better than sometimes I see myself, pulling me to stand firmly, securely into God’s wholeness.
133) My oldest son stopping by for lunch, raiding my fridge – and me making sure there is something inside he likes, like Laughing Cow Cheese, pancetta – and maybe a little Popeye bread to put it on. And him not realizing it is all there for him.
134) A 4 p.m. phone call telling me I got the job
135) a message from a friend who works with the women I’ll be teaming with – and telling me when they heard the announcement, they were all so excited I was the choice
136) God answering the prayer that took me out of the middle
137) packages in the mail
138) Gladness for the open-door policy between God and me. After those seasons of battle, there comes a refreshing – but as I convalesced in the refreshing, I take figurative walks with the Father in the figurative garden of my soul. Maybe, long ago, I would close the door and say, “No visitors. Including God.” But now, I look forward to those walking moments. Maybe those are figurative, “sit on the front porch swing” moments, too.
“You hear those little goldfinches chatting in undertones without every stopping? Bird voices. – Talk to Me like that, ceaselessly, sotto voce. – Soul voices.” (Bossis, He and I, 41)