Posts Tagged ‘Thirst’

Drought

February 10, 2015

“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”

Matthew 25:35

It is hard to believe that here in Puna, one of the wettest places in the US, we are experiencing a drought. The roads are dusty and the grass is brittle, crunching underfoot as we walk across the yard.

Because of the isolated and rural nature of the area we live, most of us catch our own water. There is no county water coming to our homes. We bath and cook with rainwater. Which is wonderful until one faces the very real possibility of running out of water. It is not something that most people in the west ever contemplate.  Water is so abundant that we take it for granted and get frustrated instead when the internet goes down.

We cannot imagine what it would be like to go without water for a day. How much harder it is then to understand what it must be like to live where water is scarce? No water to drink or bath with. No water for washing: dishes, clothes, hands, etc. No water to cook with. No water for your crops or animals. No water for sewage. What must it be like to be parched? Few of us in the West have any idea.

In ancient times, offering water was an act of hospitality that could be life saving. The Pali Cannon is filled with accounts of people offering the Buddha water for washing and drinking. Likewise, I am certain many individuals offered Jesus water while he traveled around arid ancient Palestine.

Holding a Tea CupWater is such a simple and important gift. It is a precious and life giving resource that many in the world do not have. In the West we are blessed. The act of offering drink to the thirsty is more about hospitality. It is the act of opening our heart to another person and quenching, in some small way, their loneliness.  It is an opportunity to share in our common humanity with all of its joys and sorrows.

However, let’s not forget those who do not have access to clean water. They have as much right, and certainly as much need, of water as we ourselves do.

Peace, Paul