Living water

I wasn't born with a demonstrative bone in my body. From Scandinavian and Native American heritage, I come from people who are generally quiet...until you get to know them a bit. But you might not know that if you just met me now. I played softball with some outspoken girls in high school and hockey with a bunch of wild women in college and learned to shout, and hug people I didn't know that well, and give high fives and slap the ice when something really cool happened. Started attending a more flamboyant, rock-band type of church in 2000 and learned there to lift hands in prayer (Psalm 134:2 and I Timothy 2:8). Cancer has been refining me since 2008 and teaching me what is important and whats not...and often social mores mean less to me than showing someone I love them or telling them when, why and how they impacted my life today.


I thought about all this in the shower, of all places. I hop in as quickly as possible when I wake up. By the afternoon, my hands are clamped in claws that won't bend and I hop back in the hottest shower I can stand to thaw them out again from the crippling arthritis that comes part and parcel with severe hypothyroidism. So there I am every morning, and again every afternoon, worshiping in the shower. My hands feel better elevated...so over my head they go. Right up into the hot water stream. And the praise literally is wrung from trembling lips as the pain dissipates in that wonderful, warm liquid plumbed up from 100 feet under the frozen ground and heated in my basement. God is good!! (can I get an amen?) 

Yep. I took a picture of it. That's how much I love my shower right now!
I hop out of the shower and dress as quickly as I can to go cuddle my almost-3-year-old baby son who's waiting patiently for his daily naptime cuddle. And he smells so sweet. You know why? Water. Hot, fresh clear water. Those 12 hours after his bath, it's almost like I have a baby to sniff again (until he gets into all the things that boys inevitably do). I bury my nose in his neck while he strokes my hair, and it's a quiet praise in my heart that brings tears springing to my lashes. Caleb looks up and says, "You dripping on me, Mama." Then we do our little routine: I say, "You're my favorite little boy in the whole wide world." And he replies, sweet and sleepy and heavy-lidded, "And you're my favorite Mama in the whole wide world." And we melt into sleep in mama-baby bliss.

Lovin' the waves in South Carolina just after my pacemaker surgery this summer.
I know why Jesus calls Himself the Living Water, folks.

This stuff is the miracle liquid that none of us could do without. Your body is made up of 60-70% water. About 71% of the earth's surface is covered by water in any given year. If you've ever visited a third world country, you know to what lengths people will go to clean water. I've drunk mine with bleach in it, and I've showered in ice cold gravity showers that left me with a clear understanding of the virtues of bathing once a week. I've washed clothes in a not-so-crystal-clear river and I once rode a kayak on an absolutely filthy garbage-littered beach.

Sediment settles on the Lake Superior shore in May.
Fresh water is one of those things I've taken for granted most of my life. Living water? Where do I find that? Now that's some water to worship!

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39

A drop of rain "held" by an impatiens petal in June.
The Holy Spirit. Living in me. Streams of living water flowing from within me? It seems impossible. I am coming out of a time when I spent more time looking at flaws and examining my spirit for darkness and dirtiness and filth. It is hard to imagine that, if I just step out of the way, there is a stream of living water waiting to flow right out of my heart. I think on this one I've got to take an A to B approach. I believe in Christ. Therefore the Scriptures said (and Jesus Himself said too) that streams of living water will flow from within her.

I think I forget it all the time. Living Water lives in me. I have the opportunity to yield, at every turn, to Living Water.

Two sisters I love walk down into the water to be baptized.
Just a few thoughts from the girl singing in the shower with new vigor in these pain-wrought days, living with cancer in the Midwest when it is zero degrees out. Tomorrow maybe I'll write about down, wool, or the miracle of electric heaters!