Looking out my front window this morning I noticed two small fountains of water shooting ever so playfully up from the street. They weren’t supposed to be there, but they were fun to watch. My husband’s prediction? Broken water line. As I was noticing that our water pressure had decreased significantly, the city crew began showing up with heavy equipment. A phone call from the water department to let us know that the water was going to be shut off soon confirmed the break.
Now, as a mom of four little ones with tons of laundry and dishes to do, baths to give, sticky faces and fingers to wipe and a husband leaving to start a new job across the country today, I could easily have huffed and puffed about the inconvenience. A few years ago, I likely would have.
Today, though, I was instantly reminded that I have no room for complaints.
Most of us don’t realize that millions of people around the globe can’t just turn on a faucet to access water. For so many families, gathering water is a major part of the day, making it impossible for children to go to school and parents to pursue dreams. Basic survival consumes their time. It’s hard for us to imagine that roughly every minute, three children die due to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.
Today also was a great teachable moment in that we grabbed the cooler and filled it with ice, bottled water and sandwiches for the crew members who likely weren’t going to be taking a lunch break today. I can sympathize with how hard it is to work in the heat, doing a thankless job for people who likely won’t appreciate or really notice what you’ve done. It’s easy to just expect that the water will just run out of that shiny metal faucet and not consider who made that happen. I know first hand that city workers often are the target of frustrated, angry tirades about how they aren’t doing their jobs to someone’s satisfaction.It would be plenty easy to grumble that this same line busted a year and a half ago.
Or that my house is about to go on the market and there’s a hole in the road.
Or that the equipment is loud and traffic has to reroute from the normal path.
Or that my day had to change to accommodate the lack of running water.
Believe me, in the past, my response has been to complain. In fact, I’ve been one of those frustrated angry residents who ‘could do it so much better.’
It feels so much better to have a new perspective and teach my kids to see things through the lens of love for others, appreciation for what we have and a recognition that this life we are living is about Someone and something so much bigger than us and our conveniences.
Looking out at the crew, I noticed a familiar face, someone who I had worked with in the past. I’ve seen his department targeted with unfair, ignorant treatment by the public and I imagined that today was no different. Somebody likely was reeming him or his boss, maybe even one of his workers. The pressure to get the line fixed and fast surely was weighing on him and his crew.
It was fun to see the surprise on his face when I wheeled my cooler up to the barricade and told him the contents were for him and his crew.
To be sure, this isn’t a story about me or what I can do, but about what God can do through us to brighten someone’s day – to refresh those who can use a cool drink, both literally and figuratively.
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38
” … He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42