Wednesday, April 24, 2013


During late summer when the San Jacinto Mountains become dry and thirsty, and the dust along the walkways becomes as fine as baby powder there is one place here at the camp that always remains green and lush. Down in the gully behind the camp’s office a thin trickle of water flows through a jungle of willow, nettles and wild rose. The plants crowd and overhang its banks, and their thirsty roots sink down into the moist soil to draw off the life-giving water. Naturally, animals are also drawn to the place. Deer, coyotes, bobcats, and raccoons as well as smaller creatures such as quail, rabbits, ground squirrels and chipmunks frequent the shady arbor that hides the life-giving stream. The evidence of their comings and goings are pressed into the soft mud along the bank, and occasionally as I walk the rim of the gully I will catch a glimpse of them below through the layered leaves of the willows. The gully behind the office is always full of life, and at the heart of it all is the thin trickle of water.

Just a short distance away, in the heart of the camp, is a different sort of stream- the camp’s waterfall fountain. This stream contains none of the life-giving properties of the one behind the office. It is surrounded by a cement skirt and its water is continuously recycled in a loop with none of the flowing out that characterizes the stream behind the office. It looks like a stream and sounds like a stream, but it doesn’t give life. It is all for show.

This reminds me of what Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” As followers of Jesus we are not to be like the fountain, all for show, and never flowing out. We are the means by which God desires to pour out the Holy Spirit and the hope of salvation into a dry and thirsty world. I think this is the spirit of what Jesus was saying in John 20:21 when he told the disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Jesus’s mission is now our mission! We have been sent out with the stream of living water flowing from our hearts for the purpose of giving life. We can never allow ourselves to become like fountains that put all of their energy into a noisy and splashy show.

Be a blessing and a help!

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