As you may know, I’ve been struggling lately, mental and physical health-wise. But I’m here, and I made it to church this morning, which is its own tiny miracle. And the Gospel reading today was about Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. So due to the nature of my migraine I bounced in and out of the service a little, but I was there enough to be encouraged and challenged.
I know I can write a lot about bad or broken things, but I’m not going to do that now. Especially since everything the Spirit is placing on my heart today is gratitude.
I’m so grateful for the community of believers who lead me closer to the Lord, and particularly for my roommate who has been the hands of Christ to me (as long as I’ve known her but especially this weekend).
I’m so grateful for all the people who are praying for me, and for the encouragement those prayers have been to me.
I’m grateful that my disease is not contagious and doesn’t regularly prevent me from attending church.
I’m grateful that the mystery and the blessing of the Eucharist is triumphant over my body’s inability to keep down food.
I’m grateful for our God who invites us ever deeper into relationship with Him, way beyond any ability of our own to reciprocate or earn His love.
Whenever I hear the story about the Samaritan woman, I always think of Madeleine L’Engle’s poem, “The Samaritan Woman at the Well.” I know, I know, I’m so good at making obscure literary connections!
The waters are wild, are wild.
Billows batter with unchannelled might.
A turmoil of waves foams on the ocean’s face
wind-whipped the waters hurl
the rivers rush
fountains burst from the rocks
the rapids break huge boulders into dust
the skies split with torrential rains
waters meet waters
the wind and waves are too tumultuous
no one can meet them and survive
In this wilderness of water
we shall all be drowned
the ocean cannot be compassed
I weep, I die
Put my tears in your bottle
the water is in a cup
(O Lord open thou our lips)
Is it any less water
because you have contained it for us
in a vessel we can touch?
I’ve been wondering a lot lately what it means to have joy in your life when everything feels empty and hopeless. So I’ve been praying that the Holy Spirit would show me and make joy grow in my heart because it is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Also, the joy of the Lord is our strength, and I need all the strength. Just, all of it.
And I know I’m still wondering and praying a lot, and if you asked me to define the joy of the Lord I don’t know if I could do it right now. But I think that in my heart the seeds of joy might be gratitude. And even if it is the most Sunday-Schooly of all places to start, I’m so grateful for Jesus. For the Word became flesh, the Living Water that means we will never thirst again.
Thanks be to God.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven…” -Colossians 1:15-23