Several years ago I was on my way home from work on an extremely hot summer day. As I drove past the gas station in a nearby small town, I saw a young woman sitting on a parking bumper. She was Black. No sooner had I seen her, than I sensed Holy Spirit directing me to turnaround. I drove on. His counsel was more intense.
What am I going to say? What will I even do?
Simply go in and grab two waters, one for her and one for you. It’s hot. She’s thirsty.
I turned around, went back to the station, and pulled in. I went into the gas station and picked up the largest waters I could find. The cooler air felt nice.
As I approached her, I asked, “What if she wants nothing to do with me? What if…”
I approached her and asked if she would like one of the refreshing bottles of water I held in my hands. “Yes please!”
“Not that it is any of my business, but may I ask why you are sitting here? Are you having car trouble?”
As she opened the bottle to enjoy a drink, she began to explain she was with her family. They had car trouble. The tow truck, car, and the other members of her family were headed to her hometown – nearly two hours away.
“Are you going to sit here until they return?” She would be sitting here until roughly 9 pm.
“Yes. My Aunt is going to return to get me.”
Near instantly again… give her a ride home. She cannot sit here.
I offered her a ride. She nervously accepted.
Before I began our trek, I wanted to ensure Andrew blessed my doing so. If not, she could at least visit with us for a while until her Aunt could return to pick her up from our home. He had grown accustomed to my Holy Spirit adventures and stories, and he blessed the drive.
As I returned to my vehicle, she was wrapping up her conversation with her Aunt, “… I just wanted to call and let you know, just in case I’m getting a ride with some crazy white lady!” I chuckled to myself and we headed out.
She began thanking me multiple times and proceeded to tell me her conversation with God just before I pulled up. “I didn’t want to sit there all by myself for almost four hours. It’s hot! I said, ‘GOD, IF YOU’RE REALLY REAL AND YOU’RE REALLY THERE, send someone to come help me! Please!’ Then you showed up!”
She laughed out loud joyfully! She then began sharing her faith journey with me. I listened. I prayed. And when I met her with her Aunt a couple of hours later, her Aunt blessed and thanked me with a hug. The lesson learned? Always listen to Holy Spirit, all day every day. We never know whose prayers are being answered through our obedience.
This story has come to mind in recent days for some reason. I’ve wrestled with sharing. As I drifted off to sleep last night, the thought ran through my mind – there are A LOT of thirsty souls right now, many are succumbing to the climate of society.
Some are so hot with bitterness, anger and animosity, any cool drink that comes close immediately evaporates.
Some are so balmy with cynicism, the cool drink might LOOK good, but it is difficult to believe thirst will TRULY be quenched.
Some are so lukewarm with indifference and self-focus, refreshment of living water may be good for others, but unnecessary in their lives.
For some, living water is needed for deep wound irrigation – in order for TRUE healing to begin.
Still, others are a hot mess of any combination of some or all of these, and it is being made known in a variety of ways: harsh words, bullying, divisiveness, and hate propagation – all of which are being fueled by airways once believed to unite us.
Hopefully, this is a cool drink of water to anyone willing to read this far. I nearly dismissed my late night thoughts. Yet, when I woke this morning and asked the Lord where I should read, Holy Spirit answered with John 4.
Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because His disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you LIVING WATER.”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
My prayer is for fresh, Living Water to irrigate deep-seated wounds at both the cellular (personal) and macro levels; for this Living Water to roll through like a storm and dispel the heat and hostility of our day; for many to provide one cool drink of living water at a time without forsaking where they’ve already been called to irrigate the land entrusted to them; for the skeptic to release the past and try a fresh glass.
Written by: Shanon Roberts
Featured image by Steve Johnson