A Thirst For God (Amie Stone King)
Our theme this month is "Water & Worship."
A Thirst For God
We thirst for God, our living water. This scriptural imagery suggests a desire so strong that we cannot help but be drawn to the Creator. Growing up in church we sang about founts of every blessing, streams of mercy, and living water. We heard Bible stories of the intimate rituals of foot washing and baptism. Jesus even asked a Samaritan woman for a drink from the well which highlights our collective need for water. Genesis 3:19 states that we come from the earth, …til you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. But water is the catalyst to start the process of our growth in faith. Then in baptism we are raised to walk in newness of life; our transgressions washed away.
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me once again hear joy. Psalm 51:7-8
Refreshment, reinvigoration and spiritual purification appear in many faith traditions as well as the idea that water is more than a physical cleansing agent but also able to penetrate our emotions on a soul level. The sight, sound, and feel of water elicits a meditative state offering a connection to the higher mind. We must have water to survive physically but we need God to flourish spiritually.
C.S. Lewis found many creative ways to remind the reader that water is always a source of relief. In The Great Divorce, everyone is barefoot and the ground is rocky but the river will support their weight and offers a cooling sensation to their feet. One of his most stunning examples comes in The Voyage of the Dawntreader as Eustace has finally relented and allowed Aslan to remove his dragon skin after his own efforts have failed a third time.
Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .
We often find ourselves in a similar position, trying again and again to fix the situation while turning away from the redemptive offering of peace coming toward us. Comparable to the image of Jesus walking on the water, approaching the frightened disciples during the storm on the Sea of Galilee. The fluid imagery cited in the Bible infiltrates our faith, bringing special significance to the role water plays in our daily, physical, spiritual, and emotional lives. We discover God in such simple expressions of water as the morning dew, the sound of a rain shower, and the relief of a cool sip to our parched throats.
Cover Photo Credit: AzulOx.com