Fire and Water

Some years ago, near a rarely used trail in the Amargosa Desert in California, there stood an abandoned hut. Nearby was a well, the only source of water for miles around. Attached to the pump was a tin baking-powder can with a message inside. It was written in pencil on brown wrapping paper. It read:

“This pump is alright as of June 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years, but the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun with cork end up. There’s enough water in it to prime this pump, but not if you drink some first. Pour in about 1/4 and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast and pump like… you’ll get water. The well never has run dry. Have faith.

When you get the water up, fill the bottle, fill the bottle and put it back like you found it for the next feller.

P.S. Don’t go drinking the water first! Prime the pump with it and you’ll git all you can hold. And the next time you pray, remember that God is like the pump. He has to be primed. I’ve given my last time away a dozen times to prime the pump of my prayers, and I’ve never failed yet to git me an answer. You got to git your heart fixed to give before you can be given to.”

Perhaps this story is lacking a bit theologically, but it illustrates the point of providing for others as others have provided for you.

The issue is clear: immediate personal gratification vs delayed desires and postponed self-gratification — security versus compassion. The Golden Rule comes into play: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love is the motivating influence.

Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher, wrote, “Someday after we have mastered the winds and the waves, the times, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love, and then for the second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire.”

Have you built any fires lately? Love motivates us to share the love of the Lord with others in our dry and thirsty land. Strange, isn’t it, that water and fire should illustrate such love.

These words from the song, “Set the World on Fire” is a good theme for each of us.

“Light the world on fire. Don’t stop until it surrounds you,
Light the world on fire. Don’t stop until we all hear you,
And we got a world that’s on the edge. Trying to find a way to change it.
Yeah we got a world that’s on the edge, And you could be the one to change it all.”
Strange, isn’t it, that water and fire should illustrate such love.
Be the living dramatization of such love shared in Jesus’ name.