The Rest of The Way Posts

HELPING GOD HYDRATE
Monday, August 23, 2021 by Leona Choy

“Babicku, proc budeme kvetina dat voda?” I asked my beloved live-in Grandmother Frantiska, who took care of me while my parents worked. As a four-year-old, I followed her everywhere like a little shadow and tried to do whatever she did.

When the sun went down after a hot, sultry summer day, Grandmother would get her oversized metal watering can out of the garage, fill it with water from the outdoor faucet, and hand-water the Petunias, Gladiolas, Poppys, Geraniums, and Hollyhocks she planted against the side of the little brick home where I lived with my parents and Grandmother. Since her watering can was too cumbersome for me to lift, she asked my Daddy, her son, to buy me a little red watering can so I could help her. Sometimes we watered barefoot which was fun because I could water my toes too. But I couldn't see them grow as fast as the flowers did.

“Why do we water the flowers, grandma?” (Translation of the above)

“See how the little flowers droop and bow their heads?” she explained. “Maji zizen (they are thirsty) from being in the teplo slunce (hot sun) all day. God wants us to give them a drink and help them lift their heads and smile again.”

Grandmother taught me early about God and how to pray the “Otce Nas” (Our Father, the Lord's Prayer) in the Czech language. When she came by ship from Europe, she excused herself from learning English since she claimed she was already too old. Actually, she was only fifty-something. Until I started kindergarten, my first language was Czech, although we lived in the heartland of Iowa.

“Why doesn't God water them Himself, if He wants them to grow?” A child's reasoning. I had already understood that prset (rain) came from God.

“Pan Buh (Lord God) needs people to help Him. Some people plant seeds, some water them, others gather the harvest. We all have jobs to do.”

I learned a lot of my theology snuggled in her lap, wrapped in her apron, while we sometimes watched a friendly cloudburst of rain from the safety of our back porch. What a precious comfort was Grandmother's ample lap when noisy thunder boomers and lightning accompanied the downpour. She constantly wore aprons over her long dresses in the tradition of “the old country,” as the immigrants used to refer to whatever homeland they came from.

In my mature years, I don't have much success with either outdoor or indoor plants. I leave the gardening to other gifted hands in my family, those who have green thumbs. My thumbs are gifted otherwise—on the space bar of my computer keyboard as I'm writing books and blogs. (Thumbs on my cell phone texting? Not so much.)

I do have a kitchen-garden. If I'm given plants on special occasions, I feel obliged not to let them die of dehydration. However, time flies for me, especially if  I'm absorbed in a writing project. I can't seem to remember to water plants unless I'm reminded by a little label like the one attached to the more exotic orchid I was given on my birthday last year—“Give me 6 ice cubes once a week.” I do that every Saturday so I won't forget. And the rest of my kitchen-garden flowers receive a drink too, whether they are thirsty or not.

I have a few sensitive plants that not only droop their heads but come close to wilting and dying unless I quickly come to their rescue. Then I literally watch them raise their heads again.

Yes, Grandmother, God wants us to be His helpers. He's counting on us to “water” His people whose heads are bowed down, whose knees are weak, whose hands hang down spiritually, if not literally, who are disheartened. (Hebrews 12:12) With the continued masking, distancing, compulsory control and deception, and shaking of foundations going on, my spiritual hydrating is needed all the more.

It might seem more glamorous to plant seeds, to evangelize, and more exciting and showy to close the deal, so to speak, by reaping the spiritual harvest. But sandwiched in between is the less conspicuous but indispensable, life-sustaining gift of “watering,” of encouragement, affirmation, boosting of spirits, comfort, consolation, and prayerful support of not only God's children but the not-yet-come-to-faith precious ones.

It doesn't matter what kind of a watering can we are—or what size—what color—or how much Living Water we can dispense. God has planted each of us where we encounter thirsty souls whom we can spiritually “hydrate” by coming to their aid in times of their aridity. Let's point them to the Oasis of our God where His deep Well never dries up and the Water is always refreshing. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost” (Isaiah 55:1).

I may not have an entire rain barrel full of water to share, but I can at least share the Living Water I do have as Jesus taught us. "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42).

The “little ones” in my sphere of influence may not be “little” in the literal sense of children, but nevertheless, in need of my spiritual “hydration” in wherever area of their lives, they are thirsting. As the Lord has watered us, let's water others until we are all His “well-watered garden.”

“What's in it for me?” Do we dare ask? Multiplied blessings!

“And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I, the Lord, will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing, gurgling spring that never runs dry.” (Isaiah 58:11 MSG)

 

 

 


Comments

Alisha Rushing From Pueblo, CO At 9/12/2021 8:54:38 PM

Beautifully written!

Reply by: Leona Choy

Are you a writer Alisha? Did I meet you at one of the Christian Writers conferences? I welcome you to email me about yourself.

Frances M. Johnson From Northglenn, Colorado At 8/27/2021 2:52:47 AM

Such a beautiful writing, Leona. It draws me into your story of long ago, as though I am standing in your Grandmother’s garden.

Reply by: Leona Choy

Did I ever send you my short story FRANTISKA'S APRON?? A slice of life from my childhood.

Dot From Dan At 8/24/2021 2:44:02 PM

Thank you, Leona, for springs of living water from your well-watered soul!

Reply by: Leona Choy

You are a well-watered garden, my special friend.

Kay From Winchester At 8/24/2021 9:31:20 AM

Lovely, amidst all the daily rottenness.

Reply by: Leona Choy

Stay thirsty, although our thirst is quenched by the Lord

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