When our first child was almost two years old, she developed severe diarrhea. Pediasure® didn’t yet exist, and I was an inexperienced parent who didn’t know how to feed a child in her condition. She grew lethargic and pale. Our pediatrician examined her briefly and diagnosed dehydration. “Take her to the hospital right away,” he said. “She will need to stay there at least overnight.”
I sat in the hospital hallway and cried, listening to my daughter’s screams on the other side of a closed door. Nurses inserted an IV into her right foot. Water and nutrients soon began flowing into her bloodstream. By the next morning, she was her bright-eyed self again, chatting with nurses and fascinated by the “honey” dripping into her foot.
Water is the most essential nutrient that we take in. After all, our body mass is about 60 percent water; our brains are 70 percent water and lungs are 90 percent water. Even bones are 22 percent water. Water is a major component of every cell in our bodies.
Water is also a major component in many biblical stories, from the great flood in Genesis to the apostle Paul’s shipwreck. This week’s Scripture passages are about life-giving water. The wandering children of Israel find water in the desert. The Samaritan woman asks Jesus for living water. And God’s love is poured into our hearts, echoing the poured water of baptism.
Compassionate God, during this desert time of Lent, give me the water of your Spirit. Quench my thirst.