The condensation surrounds the cup in my hands. I’m staring down at a red ribbon I ripped off of a box and am twirling it around my fingers. He talks to us, as I listen with a heavy heart. I sigh deep sighs. Sip the water. A resolution. I think to myself I hate these conversations. Anything worth fighting for is going to involve these tough talks. We are released from the office and back into the minefield. All in a days work. I’m back at it.
The sweat drips from my forehead as I stare into the mirror that is fogging due to the heat of bodies. I twist my legs around each other and I feel the pinch and burn and then the release. The sweat is flooding my mat as I sit in the stillness of a room packed with yogis with one intention, strength. I feel weak, yet look at my reflection and look into the eyes of a women strong. “Back into that last position, and into downward dog.” Oh the sweat drips of the release.
The tears drip down the face of a friend. Making promises and repentance. Clear and calm. The words spill from my mouth quicker than I’d ever like them too. I feel like I’m grasping for air. I’m grasping for something. My emotions and confusion spins as if in a cotton candy maker, all-turning into a billow of puffy nothing. No redemption is found in lost conversation.
I look down and watch the steam pour out of my freshly steeped tea. I look at this woman, who has known me since we were both girls. Where did the time go? When did we grow? We look at each other. Laugh at the stories. Wishing for simpler, seemingly ancient times. We whisper secrets of the past. We stare down at our mugs. We wish for times past and dread future decisions. We want simple and are overwhelmed with complicated. I pour my heart. My mind twirls slightly around complications. The conversation is better than pleasant.
The dishwater covers the floor. My face has rich chocolate smeared everywhere, most prominently on the tip of my nose. My hair pushed back, apron on. I whirl around the kitchen, throwing this in the oven and tossing that in the sink. The women come in and ask questions “As soon as I’m done cooking I’ll take care of that.” is me simple reply. I grab a pan out of the oven wrong and the sting hits. Hits hard. I squeeze my eyes tight as I drop the pan onto the stove top, avoiding a spill. I stare at my hand intently, expecting the worst. I rush to the sink and flip the water on. A small child walks in and between my legs, I command her out and stand and soothe my wound for a moment, and then quickly am back over the stove.
I stand there, vacant. I stare up at the showerhead and beg the water for more heat. I run the water through my hair, as if to wash the weight I feel off my body. The long day washes from my face and I can see the grime run down the drain. I’m all talked out. Out of words. How much talking, can someone in my shoes do anyway? I watch as soapsuds collect near the drain. I stand and think. I breathe deeply. I am lost, yet here in the water I am found. I let the water, which is only getting colder, wash over me. I hope for refreshment, knowing that when I step out of the shower, I will be stepping back into the muck.
The thirst I feel seems endless. My need for truth in these times is endless. How can I know my thirst if I don’t know what I’m thirsting for? My heart has been in a steady ache. I have needed a downpour of grace and mercy. In the current of regrets, frustrations and sorrows is the water- the Truth. For Christ’s love for me has the power to quench all my thirsts. My thirst for righteousness, for strength, for redemption, for wholeness, for peace, for comfort. My thirst may be endless but the water is always there for me. The well never runs dry. What better way for me to understand my thirst, than for the Holy Spirit to guide me to pay attention to water? As I snapshot my moments of my deepest insecurities and hurts, I see that the water is all around me. Love comes like a flood that carries me. It never drowns me, never allows me to suffer long. These are calm waters. The water has come to fill my soul. It beckons me for hydration of the mind. And as I fall into the petals of His watery grace, I am whole.
I leave you to consider the women at the well. She met Jesus at the water. He told her where her real thirst was from. Her real thirst was for the endless water. She had been feeding her need with a well that runs dry, with the love the world gives. As the man who knew her past, sat and showed her His true love, she found her thirst quenched. I come to the well. I ask you to join me. Join me in the journey of the water.