Tuesday, March 02, 2010

like water for a thirsty soul

Fountain at Spili
Originally uploaded by macropoulos
This past October, while traveling in Greece, my friend and I found Spili, a charming mountain town in the south of Crete. In the center of town is a fountain, fed by natural springs, that's given water to the community for generations--at least since the Venetians ruled Crete. And, even before the fountain, the springs certainly provided water to thirsty people.

The water was delicious: cool and refreshing.

When we imagine telling others about our faith, do we imagine that we're offering something so life-giving and refreshing?

One of our scripture passages this week tells a story of Jesus that is set at a well where generations have found the water they need for life, and where a woman has come to draw water at noon, in the heat of the day. We get a clear sense that she's feeling thirst: both for the water, and for acceptance. Jesus' conversation with her is itself a life-giving one: letting her know that she is both known (including all the bits she might rather hide) and loved.

Both the quality of the conversation and its content are like water for her thirsty soul.

And yet, somehow, when I think about talking to people about my faith, I worry about being oppressive--of being experienced as judgmental, self-righteous, overly pious or hypocritical. The idea of "introducing someone to Christ" gives me the knots in my stomach that come from experiences where others judged me as being in need of their way of believing.

And yet...

I have experienced Christ as life-giving and liberating, as like a tall drink of cool water on a hot and dry day. And so, this week, I've been praying that I would be able to introduce others to that Christ--with the ease that I might introduce friends at a party. That I'd be able to embody--in the quality of my conversation as well as its content--a grace that is free of ignorance and full of love.

May we share access to that fountain freely.

This Sunday in worship, we're going to hear another story of one of our members: Marian. I hope you'll be there to hear of her journey in faith, and to give thanks to God life-giving water.


Karen said...

Beautiful photo! Your blog made me thirsty and caused me to think about thirst. I can hardly wait to drink from Marian's experience.

Anonymous said...

What a great message on Sunday Molly. The images of "Water" that surrounded us in the room, during the worship, from the Scripture were deep, refreshing and moving. The testimony from Marian was AMAZING! Thank you for your open leadership, your diverse heart, and your passion for the brook that connects all our hearts to God. Blessings for your travels this week to D.C.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughtful intro and perfect follow up to Marian's sharing gave us the total package on Sunday - Share a little water on your journey then return safely to us! - Fred

molly said...

Thanks, y'all. It's a blessing to worship with you all, and to share life-giving waters together, and with the world.