Every day we live and breathe, work and enjoy, with the “necessities” of life. Some nourish us, others assist while some are just for pleasure. We cannot imagine our lives without them yet we rarely think of life without them or take the time to thank God for them. Needless to say, we take our “necessities” for granted. Today, I learned part of what it means to have a necessity taken from me…
I was on my way to answer the door when my mom told me not to turn on the tap as our drainage was clogged. If I let the water run, then the whole laundry room would flood. I continued on my way to the door where I let my friend Holly in. She took off her boots and we spoke for a little bit. And then I realized: I cannot use any water!
Normally, it wouldn’t be an immediate problem to me but Holly had just come over to make sugar cookies with me for our Valentines Party on Friday. There wasn’t any water directly in the recipe but we would need to wash our hands! What am I going to do? I wondered.
As I led my friend up the stairs, I began to think of all the things that were now changed, at least until we fixed this problem. I won’t be able to have a shower! At least I had one this morning. There’ll be no baths either or way to wash dishes. I won’t even be able to have a cup of tea or water!
Just as I was panicking, my mom came into the room with a green tub. “You can use this for washing your hands.” She said.
I was relieved at that moment! It was like the long needed rain had come after a drought or a water shortage had ended. I had gone through the feelings of being without something, to having it again.
I wasn’t feeling so relieved as I did the baking and various meal dishes an hour later. You see, it is much easier to just run water normally and let it stay in the sink instead of trying to prevent it with a tub that is about half the size that you normally use. Big dishes make it even more difficult! And then, the real challenge came: dumping the water out! The first time I did it, I didn’t realize how heavy the water would be so I left it a bit late. Not being very strong, carrying it across the kitchen floor was difficult and then, when I was about an inch away from the deck doors, I spilled!
“Why couldn’t you have waited to spill, water?” I thought.
The water only responded by spilling twice more once I was on the deck, splattering me along with the deck.
At last I reached the end of the deck (why did we ever build a bigger deck?) but my trials were not over yet. As I dumped the water out, I heard a clinking sound. I looked down and was dismayed to find the dish cloth along with two forks and a measuring cup down on the grass.
My dish-washing set up.
When I started round two of this procedure though, I felt a bit ashamed of myself for my inward complaints. I was reminded of Mexico, when the YWAM staff taught us about water shortages. They told us that children have to walk miles (and I only had to walk across my deck and kitchen) just to get a small glass of filthy water that makes them sick. I remembered how we had to try water mixed with salad dressing, spices and bread crumbs. I felt a shiver of disgust and shame in my heart at this memory. I had merely tasted a bit of yucky water which only made me feel like throwing up while children in Africa drink real dirty water, if they have anything, which makes them die. And now, I stand in front of a tub full of water and I complain because getting this water is just not convenient.
How selfish I am! How terrible are these thoughts of mine! And how awful is it that I live and breathe, work and enjoy with all kinds of things like long, hot baths, and warm cups of tea, refreshing showers and cold glasses of water without a second thought. It’s a sin, to be sure and I am ashamed of this for granted attitude that I posses, of my thankless heart and selfish ways, of this sinful normality that I live in.
So God, I’m going to take this moment to say Thank You for all you have given me but especially for….
As many glasses of water as I want.
Enough water to bathe myself and wash the dishes in.
Extra liquid for my cups of tea.
A tub to use when the drain isn’t working.
And most of all, for this lesson that you have taught me.
Note: From talking to my mom afterwards about my dish-washing escapades, I was informed to use the drain outside next time instead of killing God’s wonderful grass and plants outside!