Where there is no water, there can be no life. This is true of plants and animals alike. There is no substitute for water.
This week, I began to pull out some of the overgrowth in the little garden behind the church, knowing that the soil needed to be turned and added to before re-planting. I had set aside some time on Monday to do this work. But, when I woke up in the morning, I realized it was raining,
And I was discouraged. I thought that the soil would be water-logged, making it harder to dig up, and harder to work. In fact, the opposite was true. The rainfall had softened the hard ground, and broken up some of the clumps of soil. When I worked it through with the turning fork, and then my fingers, the soil crumbled.
How do we find our refreshment? Without water, plants will die. And without some form of spiritual nourishment, we will also perish.Jesus offers us living water to drink. This is the same sustenance to our spirits that rainfall is to the ground. It breaks up our hardened places, pulling up the roots which have been too long stagnant, adding to our nutrients, and preparing us for what lies ahead.
We all have work we must do in this world. Your job, taking care of family, or perhaps even something as simple as living well on this planet, or attempting to do kindnesses for one another, however small–all of this is work, and it can be exhausting.
But, if we are like trees, planted by streams of living water, then we will always have the nourishment we need. Maybe you are fed by going on a hike alone, taking in the beauty around you, and enjoying a respite from the world. Or, maybe you are fed by time with family, sharing a meal, and laughing till your belly hurts. Or, maybe you are fed by going to the beach, and allowing the waves to wash over you. Or, maybe you are fed by coming to a church service, enjoying music and stained glass windows.
All of these things, and many more, are the ways that we are nourished. The ways that God meets us and feeds us, where we are.
Life comes in cycles – perhaps in a shape like a spiral where we visit and re-visit emotions and places, but as slightly different people than we were the first time.
Perhaps you are in a moment of life where it feels as if much has been uprooted. And your soil is being raked through and cleared out, making room for something new. Perhaps you are in a moment of life, where the ground feels as if it is lying fallow. Seeds are there, but they have not yet germinated – and you are in a moment of dark waiting. Perhaps you are in a moment of life where there is new growth. Small new seeds which had been growing in dark, protected places, are now sprouting forth their greenery, and reaching up to the world. Perhaps you are in a moment of life where the plants are being dutifully tended, growing stronger day by day, strengthened by your daily practices. Perhaps you are in a moment, now, of long awaited harvest – gathering the fruits of your labor, and enjoying the bounty.
Wherever you are today, and wherever you are on your journey, may you come to know the nourishment God offers. And become like a tree, planted by streams of living water. Amen.
With thanks to Rev. Jazzy Bostock for permission to publish her homily.
AND TODAY, SATURDAY JUNE 30, HUNDREDS TURNED OUT IN HONOLULU TO CALL FOR GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED POLICIES OF CHILD SEPARATION AND INTERNMENT TO END.