The small boy in the picture above is on his way to the village water supply to get water for his family's daily needs. Water is a very basic need for human survival. His family may boil and drink it or they may use it to wash clothes or for other hygienic needs. When he gets to the water supply, this is what he finds:
Many other villagers are gathered around waiting to collect water from the public source, which is only turned on during certain times of the week. They'll come with push carts and buckets to get as much as they can carry. Even for those who have running water in their houses there is a shortage right now.
As I pass by this scene about a mile or so from our home I am reminded of the encounter that Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. That woman had similarly come for the tedious, but essential task of collecting water. There Jesus offers her "living" water:
Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:13-14The woman perhaps imagines something as glorious as a typical American water faucet that spews forth an abundance of clean, drinkable water on demand. At the very least she would love to be relieved of this burdensome task. She responds by saying "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw." Through further teaching she would come to understand that the spiritual water that Jesus provides is even more essential and satisfying than the physical water she was seeking.
As I watch men, women, and children going to collect water, I reflect upon the living water that they need most. I am reminded of the greatness of Christ's gift and the importance of our mission. Let's all do what we can to point spiritually thirsty people toward Jesus.