Every May when I take my students to Washington, D.C., we see many monuments and memorials. It’s my pleasure to point out, describe, and explain the meanings of each one and how it relates to what we’ve studied during the year. One theme is universal throughout the city: WATER. Still water that protrays stagnancy contrasted to moving waters, can be seen and heard representing LIFE.
The FDR memorial has four sections representing the four terms he served carrying our nation through The Great Depression. Fireside chats, bread lines, waterfalls and a statue of Mr. President in a wheelchair–something he never wanted to be photographed. Crippled from Polio, FDR would visit Warm Springs, Georgia for treatments that included running water that he said revived his legs. There are several moving water displays at this particular memorial. It reminds us of the truth that living water refreshes and heals.
What did Jesus The Christ say to the Samaratian woman at Jacob’s well? “If you knew the living water I have to offer you would never thirst again.” They called Jacob’s well the “Well of Living Waters” long before the birth of Christ. The spring that flows beneath that well FLOWS. It is not stagnant water that is drawn up by a Jack and Jill fetching pail, it is FLOWING FROM A FRESH, MOVING STREAM OF LIVING WATER. Those who visit Jacob’s well today can still drink from this refreshing water that never dies.
In one of the panels at his memorial, there is etched in bronze a mural of Mr. Roosevelt’s funeral procession. You can almost hear the dirge as you look at this artwork hovered over a still, pool of water. Stagnant. Still. Somber. Death.
Still water can also be found at the Pentagon 9-11 memorial over each marked flight seat, and at the WW2 memorial beneath the gold stars, just to name a few.
Each of our lives is a memorial that can be evident to all just by the way we think, act and live. The popular church camp song, “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see. Opens prisoners doors sets the captive free. … Spring up oh well, (splish splash) within my soul, spring up oh well, and make me whole….give to me that life abundantly.”
As we buried my 92 year old maternal grandmother today, I reflect on the eulogy, sermon, graveside words, but mostly on her life. Gran was an only child who had four children. I too am an only child raising four children. Her list of accomplishments, service, and community activities were listed, shared, and reflected upon. It causes me to think and look inward at my own life. Is it stagnant and still, or FRESH AND LIVING?
Memories are like water: fresh, trickling, and sometimes unsurprising waves that flood the emotions of one’s soul. This day I’ve dreaded for YEARS, yet a celebration of life met with a resounding ‘It is Well’ reminds me that rivers of live bring living water. Living water that springs forth gives life. Life brings death, but death is only a beginning to the new life that floods once again soothing a parched soul with refreshing coolness and peace.
So we sing with authority a resounding “It is Well.” Every day we CHOOSE to be examples of living water that offers life, refreshment, flowing to others; or stangnant water that is slimy, mucky, and exemplifies death.
Choose life and chose to live it more abundantly. Now.
Leave a legacy.