Just now, as I was preparing to write a different blog entry, I heard a most glorious sound. The sound of running water! Because last night my power came back on, but no water. And so I waited. Impatiently. I had all the faucets turned partially on because that is what you are supposed to do. I was hopeful that it was only because the water was still frozen. (I even went out this morning with my hairdryer and aimed it hopefully at a couple of exposed pipes, but quickly gave that up.) But it very well could have been broken pipes, or a frozen pump, or any number of more dire things that would mean NO WATER for an even longer period of time. Because when this stuff happens, plumbers are at a premium.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I think it happens on a semi-regular basis, maybe every 5-7 years. Which is why no one up here is really totally prepared for it. And I always think about those less fortunate than myself, and I am always very thankful for the simple things in life, like running HOT water. But this time it was particularly poignant for me. I think God had a plan for me.
At church on Sunday, my pastor and a friend were discussing a book she had lent him titled ‘The Hole in our Gospel,’ written by the president of World Vision. I had seen this book at my friend’s house and had been interested in reading it myself, and said so. She actually hadn’t read it yet herself (her husband had finished it and given it to the pastor,) so she was going to take it home to read and then give it to me. But at the end of church she found me and said she didn’t have time to read it now, so wanted me to take it.
Ha! Guess who had nothing else to do on Monday but try to stay warm and read a book IN ONE SITTING! I never ever do this. I always have too many books going and skip around from one to another. But this book was about something that I have been concerned about for a couple of years–the problem of hunger in the world. It is extraordinarily well-written–that is, it is interesting and readable and keeps your attention (obviously.) The author, Richard Stearns, shares his own story, and is candid and honest about his own failings. But the most important thing I learned while reading this book was the importance of clean water for poor people, and the devastation that the lack of it causes. Much of their time and energy is spent trying to get water so they won’t die of thirst, and then if it isn’t clean, it causes them to have diarrhea that kills them anyway. It is a multi-faceted problem. But one I can’t ignore. I feel guilty that I live a pretty easy life, full of the things I want, not just the things I need. Putting out my Christmas ‘treasures’ was a bit difficult. I didn’t exactly think like Schindler at the end of the movie, but pretty much…’what was I thinking? Does a single person need THIS MANY ornaments?’ But now I know, and I must do something.
I think the stories in the book came to life for me because I was spending much of my own day concerned about having enough water. Keeping things relatively clean. Melting snow to flush the toilet. Taking water out to the chickens and the cat. Things I just take for granted suddenly required a lot more thought and motion.
I don’t have the answer to exactly what I am going to do. I do live fairly simply, and give to organizations that help with hunger (I think I was more concerned with food than with water because…well, you guys know why!) But I will be doing something. I am praying that God will lead me in the right direction.
Here is a great verse I found this morning. It is my prayer today.
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.
1 Thessalonians 1:11
Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled Christmas/food/exercise blogging.