Thursday, June 26, 2014
A single drop of water is a miracle. It's full of life. When there are many, they can help to restore life when things have withered. They can quench a thirst or provide a good cleansing. They are full of promise and healing. People's lives can be forever changed.
In drought stricken parts of our world, water is so scarce. Children thirst. Crops wither and the dry ground cracks. Things that some of us may take for granted, others yearn for...just a few drops, just a few drops.
At our house, we watch Survivor Man a lot, not my first choice, but my two guys love it, so I persevere. He has had some interesting ways of collecting water, and always seems to make the best of just a few drops.
Some of his techniques are not what I would want to have to do to survive, but, understood.
Growing up, I remember many family vacations (usually camping was involved) when we could arrive at our destination with rain not too far behind us. We brought wet sunshine to many a little town out west or in the mountains. Wet tents and campers were not a lot of fun. Daddy used to tell us to not touch the tent or it would leak. I was always tempted to just try it anyway. After all, what was one little quick poke at the tent ceiling! The rains came and we sat under the rain fly or canopy. Sometimes, we just got wet and other times, my brother and I would pout in the car. After the rains, the humidity was rough. Steam rising up from the ground. Eerie! I'm pretty sure these were all part of the reason that my mother insisted on a Holiday Inn at least 1 night out of the week. Nothing like a shower and a soft bed after a week of 25 cents a minute cold showers and sleeping on air mattresses. Having access to the pool wasn't too bad either. Most of the campgrounds had a swimming lake or a pool that resembled a frog hatchery. If you couldn't see through the water, we weren't swimming in it!
I was never much for swimming in lakes or streams, but sometimes it was the only resource. At Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains, there was a stream that flowed through the campground. Pretty shallow, and a great place to cool off. That same stream weaves its way through the mountains and connects with the river that runs into Gatlinburg. My husband likes to tell the story of the day I slid off a rock and into that river, waist deep in freezing cold spring water. I was wearing a dress, by the way. Made it that much more comical for him, and all because I was trying to see the trout in the river.
Water! A drop here and a drop there...thinking about floating on my back in the pool and just starring up at the sky above. So peaceful, so free. Your imagination could run wild just thinking about the possibility of floating among the clouds. Remember swimming under water and opening your eyes for the first time? Cloudy at first, but things were so magnified and seemed to move at a slow motion pace.
All these are wonderful memories that I cherish. The past few days, my thoughts about water and its power, were because of a picture posted by a dear friend. She is happily stretched out in a chair that's plopped right in the middle of a waterfall. The cool water is rushing around her and the big smile on her face says it all. Healing cool water, miracles rushing around her. When I saw the picture, all I could think of was the song "Down To The River To Pray" by Alison Krauss. Mitzi's story is incredible and with her permission, I want to share part of of it with you, one - because she is an inspiration and a strong faithful woman of God, but two, because she needs your prayers and encouragement for her for the days ahead. After years of illness and pain due to several chronic health issues, a diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, fibro myalgia and what seems to be an endless list, she has remained strong, determined and ever hopeful. Her faith in God has never waned and in spite of her own health problems, she was always thinking of someone else's needs, including mine. Posters came last summer with instructions to put them up in my Dad's hospital room to make it bright and cheery. When teacher gifts were needed for her son's school, she made them. If a neighbor or church family member needed a meal to help out or just a ride somewhere, she took care of it. Now, it's our turn to help her. She needs us to be the prayers and encouragement for her. Mitzi was just diagnosed with an aggressive Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Even with this new scary diagnosis and the tests and treatments that will follow, her first thoughts were of having a good summer with her family and of friends that are ill.
Today has been one of those rainy summer days. Escaping the rain and ducking inside provided me a few moments of quiet, such a blessing. Memories of splashing through puddles and sailing little plastic boats down the street, listening to the sound of the rain on the roof, all of it good stuff! For me with my new garden, that growing world outside my window seemed to just explode. All of the plants seem to be looking up to Heaven and opening up to take in all of the life giving water.
When you have a rainy day or you are blessed with a refreshing dip in the pool, or jumping rocks at the creek, take a moment to say a prayer. As you have your quiet time, your prayer time, please add prayers for Mitzi and her family. Pray for her healing, her strength, her courage and peace. She truly is born again of the water and the spirit and a miraculous and inspiring woman.
"As I went down in the river to pray, studying about that good ol' way, and who shall wear the starry crown? Good Lord show me the way! O sisters, let's go down, let's go down, come on down. O sisters let's go down, down in the river to pray."
Love you Mitzi...