Holy One, there is a song haunting me lately. An evocative melody. A single soprano invokes, “Oh let all who thirst, let them come… to the water.” The first time I heard it, I wept. And lately I hear it often. Unsummoned, it echoes within my soul; a lament in layers of drought.
Source of life, water is scarce in your beloved creation. Entire regions of countries filled with your beloved people have now faced weeks and months with little to no water. The forecast is grim.
Northern Italy is enduring its worst drought in seventy years. Forty-three percent of the United States watches the sky, day after day, for signs of relieving rain. Portugal, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya cry from thirst. Hunger is borne of land that thirsts; the very earth cries out for rain.
The song, goes on, unbidden: “Let all who seek, let them come… to the water.”
Living Water, I see you move through your people at World Vision and Charity Water; at Water Is Life and Water for People; through Thirst Project and Drop in the Bucket and all organizations working tirelessly to bring safe water to people throughout the world. For all those working to preserve, protect, and provide this lifegiving liquid, I am humbled. I am grateful. I hope. Give them strength, perseverance. Surround them with support.
Now the sweet strains, in harmony rise, “Let all who toil, let them come… to the water.”
Farmers try to save their crops by tapping aquifers, only to find the aquifers are running dry. Long days in the heat, long nights seeking sustainable solutions by the blue light of a screen. Somewhere again, desperation leads to despondency, and one succumbs. And tears fall like rain in their absence.
“And let all the poor, let them come… to the water.” In Pakistan, floodwaters remain. The survivors still wait to estimate their losses when the water decides to at last, recede.
Creator of the waterfall, the glacier wall, the blessed spring.
Architect of oceans, artist of the sea.
Stiller of the storm. Water from the rock.
Have mercy on your world in need of rains, abundant;
Quench our thirst, give drink to the earth, that all might come. To the water.
Come to the Water, by John B. Foley, SJ