Being this far north, it starts getting light out really early in the day. By 5 o'clock in the morning, it is starting to get light enough to move around the house without turning a light on. This is either a perk that helps make up for longer, colder winters or it can be a drawback depending on your point of view because as the day starts to brighten, birds, animals and people start to wake up.
Singing birds are lyrical and are a wonderful reminder of the warmer days and the pull to be outdoors to enjoy the wonders of creation. Even to a morning curmudgeon like me (I am not a morning person), I enjoy early morning bird song. Just not when my sleep has been rudely interrupted.
We have a small black and white tuxedo cat who has been the very definition of "cattitude" since son Ben rescued her and brought her home. At barely 5 weeks old and dumped on the highway, she was set on the floor to meet our three adult cats. She promptly growled and ran up and attacked the largest (and grumpiest) one on the nose. As I said, "cattitude."
My husband and I were away for a few days and we have been paying for it ever since. She has taken to waking me up as soon as it becomes light. She begins by jumping up onto the dresser across from the bed and then jumping from up there down on to me and then sets to meowing in a very demanding manner.
Why? She wants one of us to get up and turn on the water in the bathroom so that she can get her morning drink. (We have joked about the pros and cons of getting a "touch" facet that she could turn on herself but I couldn't stand the thought of water getting wasted.)
"Meow! Meow! Meow!..." she cries continuously. Water! Now!
All living things need water. People need water to survive: clean, safe water.
According to the World Health Organization, half of the patients in hospitals in the developing world are suffering from sanitation and water-related diseases. Lack of safe water and sanitation kills over 1.6 million children a year.
Living surrounded by farmland and farmers and gardeners, people around here are crying for water as they watch crops turn brown. We really need a whole day of steady rain that comes slowly enough to just soak in. It was a dry fall and winter and dry now. People are getting worried. The need for rain has been a topic of conversation at our council meeting, when I see people around church and town, and even when visiting people in the hospital and nursing home. I have been asked several times to pray for rain and it is included in our prayers at worship.
Even though clean water is as close as our faucet, we still come praying to God for water. A time of drought can bring us to our knees in prayer, reminding us that all life is in God's hands and that despite all our technological advantages and wealth, we don't have the power and control we like to think is ours. It can be an opportunity for us to pause and think about how our lives rely upon having the water we need and the impact of our use and waste of water upon the world and those who don't have access to clean water.
There are many places in the Bible where the saving grace of God is imaged in the abundance of life-giving water. We need to take seriously the connection between life and water and seek God's will and wisdom in our use and protection of this resource. Beyond that, we need to think beyond our own need to ensuring that more and more people have access to safe, clean water. Water and life and God's grace intertwine so much that it is a clear reminder that we dare not separate faith from what we do in our daily lives, even to turning on the faucet. Read Isaiah 35:3-7.
Originally posted June 8, 2012, at Halstad Parish. Republished with permission of the author. Find a link to Christine Iverson’s entry on the blog Halstad Parish at Lutheran Blogs.
You might also want to read:
Cold cup of water
Celebrating clean water
The Season of Creation