Friday, September 2, 2016

The Well

I wrote this while I was in Uganda this summer. Wanted to share this moment with y'all. God is just so good. That is simply put, but I am continually overwhelmed by that truth. 

When I think of a water well, or as it is referred to in Uganda, a borehole, I immediately think of life...both physical and spiritual. The physical life that is literally brought to hundreds by the source of clean water. Life seems to abound around the well in the village, maybe as a beautiful reminder of the change and restoration the comes from the Living Water. On Wednesday afternoon, at the was happening to its fullest and I was honored to be a part of that moment. 
Tony and I were loading up the back of the truck with all of the empty jerrycans from Grandmas that we could find. We were making a big trip to the well to bring back plenty of clean water which she would use over the upcoming days. I was excited because I had decided that I personally would fill every jerrycan myself. I enjoy a challenge, and I knew my arms would be on fire by the middle of my mission and would be completely burnt out when the 15 or so jerrycans were topped off. Tony laughed at my ridiculousness (yes, that's a word), but was willing to stand aside so I could complete my challenge.
As we pulled up to the well three little girls were finishing filling their jerrycans, which they would soon carry back home to be used by their families for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and whatever else was on the families agenda. As I hopped out of the front seat with excitement, happy to greet new friends, giggles burst out of each of these sweet faces. Between the girls initially feeling too shy to speak the English they learn in school and my limited Acholi vocabulary, laughter truly bridged the gap and served as our introduction. 
As they finished filling their jerrycans, I took over, ready to begin my challenge of filling all of my jerrycans myself. Although the girls were finished, they didn't leave, they stood and watched what I am certain was a rare (if not first) sighting of a "muno" (white) pumping water at their well. It didn't take long until they joined in, beginning to help, little by little, until as Tony joked, "You now have a full team". We were developing an efficient process for getting these cans filled, each of us with an important role. As one jerrycan was filled, they replaced it with a new one and moved each of the empty and waiting jerrycans up a spot in line. At the end of filling my third large jerrycan, the girls clearly had a plan in mind that I hadn't yet been clued in on. I got the idea as the third can filled and two little hands grazed my hands, and then took position next to mine on the metal pump. She giggled and rubbed her pinkie finger across the top of my hand, almost to see if my white skin felt different from her black skin. After receiving her answer, she hesitantly looked up at me, building confidence as she made eye contact. I'm not sure if she drew the short piece of grass, but it seemed as though she had been chosen out of the three to convey their plan. Unsure if I would be okay with it or go along with what they thought was a good idea, with a sudden burst of boldness, her eyes clearly said, "I've got this, it's my turn to do the hard part". They were not going to let me fill all these cans alone, after all...this was a team effort. From that point on, each of us filled one can and continually rotated job positions. My goal to complete my own personal filling challenge had been replaced with my desire to spend sweet moments with these girls. I was no longer focused on filling them all by myself. It was one of those moments where you just stop and take a deep breathe, almost as if to actually breathe in the moment, filing it away in your heart. The laughter continued throughout as an overflowing joy was nearly palpable. Few words were actually spoken, but communication created no barrier. 
The moment was simple, joyful, and real. I'm not sure what it was exactly that made it one of those moments that took residence in my heart and will forever remain. Maybe it was all of it...the three girls, the laughter, the well, their servants soul was singing! I am grateful. That 30 minutes at the well truly was a gift from God. 
While driving home that evening, God laid on my heart, how often am I willing to put aside my desires to simply be with Him in the sweet moments He has for me? How often do I stop and just "breathe in" in the presence of the Lord, filing away those moments with Him? That afternoon He reminded me who He is. I will make an effort to put aside "my moments" to be present in His.

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