Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Water

The desert stretched on forever before him. He was tired – dead tired. Soon, he thought to himself, he could die.

He was out of supplies, parched, drained, depleted and his strength was failing fast.

His brisk walk had long slowed to lazy steps. Now, he mustered every ounce of concentration to put one foot in front of the other.

The problem was, he did not know where he was going.

Along the way, when he had the opportunity, he had packed things he thought he needed for the journey, but they had become dead weight as he trudged on in the fierce heat of the desert. It was really sad that it was in pain, lack and closeness to death that clarity was found – he simply needed bread, water and a compass.

Then he saw them.

A group of travelers loomed ahead, or so he thought. He blinked at the mirage, but it did not go away. They were really there. Anticipation gave him strength and he walked with greater determination, quickening his pace.

It was a mistake.

The little energy he had was drained away as strength left him. What fluid he had left in him vanished quickly as they seeped from his pores in the fervent heat. The sun burnt like eternal coals before his eyes that were smarting – but were so dry that blinking did nothing to help.

Water, he said.

He was before the queer group now. They were in the middle of the desert surrounding a figure that sat meekly on a stone before them. He did not understand the strange ritual that involved them walking around the stone in perpetual circles, neither did he notice that he had been reduced by weakness to his knees, crawling on all fours like an invalid, throat parched, face scarred, eyes blurred. He needed water.

The group finally noticed him and they stopped momentarily. Dehydration was almost making him mad, so there was no time for long speeches. He willed his shaking hands towards them in a pleading gesture.


All around him, smiles lit up the face of the strangers as a knowing look filled their eyes.
“He wants water” he heard them say, and he felt hope well up within him. At least he would have water.
The group helped him sit up on the burning sand and then they began their march around him.
“What is water?” one said.
“Water is life”, answered another
“What are the sources of water? That is really important to know” said a tall dark man.
“I think there are five sources of water. There is rain, underground water, water from strea..”
“This man needs water” said another frantically. “Give him SOMETHING.”

Someone rushed up to him and finally said the words he had been dying to hear.
“Here is some water”
Half-blinded eyes looked up. He looked at the man who stood before him. The face was as scarred as his, but maybe this man had something he needed. He looked to the man’s hand. Confusion made his head swim.

There was a tablet in the man’s hand with the words in bold “WATER”.
“That is water,” said the man genuinely. “What do you think about the writing style, not forgetting this is a key element to have in the desert?”

Somewhere in his mind, he thought to himself, he had stumbled on a group of man people. That was the only explanation for their genuine but useless “solutions”.

Realization dawned on him. If he stayed longer, he was going to die. Die here with this genuine group that talked about what he needed but did not seem able to give him any of it. His alliance with these folk would be the death of him except he found water. He fell to the ground, crawling away, dragging his body along the sandy earth.

“Come to me, I’ll give you rest” he heard behind him. He struggled to look around and his gaze fell on the man sitting on the large stone. The eyes burned with a brilliance he had NEVER seen in his walk. It was understanding, care, love…power. Bizarre - but in a good way because it gave him hope which he knew would not make him ashamed. He did not realize that just looking into the man’s eyes had automatically made his limbs start to move towards the man. Man, this man was a magnet.

“Wa…water!” He said and for the first time, tears filled his eyes. He had been through so much. He just needed to get on with this journey he had found himself on.

He saw an empty hand stretch out to him. His anguish at the sight gave way to shock for there was a huge bowl of clear water in the well-formed hands.

Forgetting manners, he grabbed the bowl and drank, then felt ashamed at his behaviour. He looked at the stranger’s hand first, knowing he would have to look at the man’s face. It was just good behaviour. There was a healed gash on the hand. Curiously, he looked up to see the stranger was smiling at him, amused. He stood looking at the stranger, wondering who he was.

Then he realized he was now STANDING. Wow, what water!

“Who are you?” he said, curiousity growing by the second.

The desert wind stopped blowing, as though all of creation had to be still when this man spoke. The sound of the group that kept marching and babbling endlessly faded into the distance as though the brilliance of this man made all things turn to gray.

When he spoke, the voice was calm, genuine…and knowing.

“I am Jesus, but right now, I am water”


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great post, Bro! Sorry for the first comment, went too fast.

  3. My favorite bible commentary is Matthew Henry. His faith was tried over & over in life; his wife died, his in-laws found him another wife, his children died one by one, his siblings died - and he raised his own nieces and nephews, they were raised to know the Lord, & they loved their aunt and Uncle Matthew dearly. His own childhood was a miracle of survival, being a premature infant led to poor childhood health. His father was a minister who had been forced out by laws enacted by Parliament during the time of English Civil War. His commentary is given the term practical, but the beauty and poetry of his interpretation will never be repeated. Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary was first published in 1710 and has never been out of print.

    Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible~ Psalm 144:
    Happy those to whom the Lord gives that noblest victory, conquest and dominion over their own spirits. Man's days have little substance, considering how many thoughts and cares of a never-dying soul are employed about a poor dying body. Man's life is as a shadow that passes away. In their highest earthly exaltation, believers will recollect how mean, sinful, and vile they are in themselves; thus they will be preserved from self-importance and presumption. God's time to help his people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.

    Fresh favors call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage.

    Thanks for your post, it gave me several days of thought.

    Anne-Laurel, Scripture for Today Blogspot.

  4. This was really inspiring Sir... How Religion can dance around the person and promises of Christ, and yet make substitutions to the precious Living Water.