As of Friday, June 12, 2015
Growing up, I had a sandbox. Dad built it for me, and it was my favorite place to play. I would take my favorite toys out to the sandbox and make up stories to act out.
There was one rule I was given with the sandbox, a rule I never understood: don’t play with water in your sandbox.
Why? It’s so much fun! The water changed everything! With only a little water, the sand became firm and malleable, perfect for building castles or pits; with a torrent from the garden hose I could watch the sand torn away from my structures, carved into new and intriguing shapes. The changes were irresistible. The biggest hill I could build or the deepest pit would be changed by the rush of the water.
The water changes everything. We know water can do strange and wonderful things. It can wear deep trenches into the rock of the earth; it can drip, drip, drop into elaborate and elegant columns, if you give it time. It can break trees, uproot them and carry them far from where they started; it can strip the forests bare. It can carry things far and wide, or it can flow into a pool, gathering things together.
The noise and movement of water make it seem alive. It’s little wonder that ancient peoples imagined spirits in the water.
Water not only moves, but it has a voice. It crashes and roars; but it also murmurs, babbles, can even be said to laugh.
The very sound of water changes things: it is a noise that, contradictorily, speaks of silence. Perhaps because we have to be still, be quiet to hear it. The sound of rain on a rooftop or the gentle play of a fountain or the soft susurrus of a stream can wash our minds clear to meditate, to pray.
Yes, water does indeed change everything. It brings new beginnings.
In the beginning, the Spirit, the voice of God, moved over the waters and Creation happened. In the beginning, Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan; the Spirit moved, a voice spoke, and his ministry began - his life and work that changed the world.
Water changes everything. No wonder it is so often linked to the voice of God.
Water changes everything - even us. The water runs over us, trickles over our heads. In it, we are washed clean. A voice sounds, a still, small voice as quiet as dew dripping from the leaves yet louder than the roar of a waterfall: “I have called you by name and you are mine.”
The water sweeps us away; it carves us into new and intriguing shapes. In the rush of the water and the Word, the Spirit moves and we are reborn.
Water changes everything, and it never stops changing things. It is irresistible, it is inevitable, inexorable.
The canyons are always being carved deeper. We are always being cleansed and called by the gentle powerful, murmur of the Living Water of God.
Listen! A voice is calling through the water - let it carry us away, let it change us. Amen.