Imagine a Day Without Water
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
- You woke up this morning and couldn’t brew your coffee, take your shower, or brush your teeth.
- Your house caught fire and there was no water to put it out.
- You turned on the faucet and nothing came out.
- You went to church for your child’s baptism and there was no water available.
From time to time in most of the US, we lose water pressure or even our water supply completely for one reason or another. For most, it’s a temporary inconvenience – a side trip to the store for bottled water. For others both here and around the world, lack of water is a day to day reality. October 10 is set aside each year to take a step back, look at our world, and imagine what would be different if we didn’t have any water (imagineadaywithoutwater.org).
Recently, I was among a group of concerned advocates who took a tour of Flint, Michigan. Several years ago, Flint made headlines for having some of the most contaminated water in the country. Many people, especially children, became ill and continue to suffer the effects of excessive lead in the drinking water system. Though no longer in the evening news spotlight, the people of Flint continue to suffer as their water remains undrinkable, their property values plummet, and their voices to enact change remain unheard. They do not have to imagine a day without water – they live it still.
People coping with the flood waters in the wake Hurricane Florence, or those suffering in Indonesia after a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, realized the destructive power of water. Though surrounded by water, there was none to drink or for household use. Only the destruction remained.
Water is not something that should be bought and sold. Water is a gift from God which is necessary for all of creation to flourish.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
“Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom
or gives the rooster understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together? (From Job 38)
Imagine a day without water. Many people around the world do not have to imagine this. Despite covering about 70% of the Earth’s surface, only 3% of this water is fresh. Every day, over one billion people lack access to water! One billion people. From Brazil to India to China. Russia, Egypt, Japan and even England and the United States. Water is a precious gift from God that we cannot afford to waste, to ignore, to pollute, or to auction off to the highest bidder. Take a moment and imagine your day without water. Then go beyond – pray for those who do not have enough water. Pay the water bill of someone in need. Donate to a water filtration system for communities and schools. Thank God for the water supplied each day.
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matt. 25:37-40)