Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fill 'Er Up {Unspoken Truth Spoken Everywhere}

This summer I had two little plants outside my front door that, much to my embarrassment, I would forget to water.  I would walk out into the warm, dry summer day, only to find my poor little plants wilting and begging for the refreshment of water.  Funny thing is, once I gave them a dose of liquid life, within a handful of minutes, they sprang back to full, beautiful form!!  When the soil that held them was cracking and shrinking from the moisture that was escaping, the only thing that would suffice was water.

I think about this today after a couple of friends have posted on Facebook about the need for self-care.  Sometimes life sucks out and evaporates any sustenance for our souls and we are left to care for our families and friends with about as much ability as those little wilting plants.  (Many times, we turn into little wilting plants!)  Our need to be filled back up is so great, but we just don't see how or when we could do it...or what would even help bring us back to life.

But I think there is one more thing that keeps us from seeking water for our souls.  We may buy into the idea that self-care is good, but deep inside most of us feel like it is a luxury and innately a bit selfish.  To choose ourselves when there is turbulence going on around us, or even just a list to get done, seems ridiculous and perhaps unattainable.  I think that some of us have also come to believe that a "wilting posture" is somehow more honorable and so we take pride living life that way.

But I think I would like to propose we change our wording a little of how we talk about this phenomenon.  Instead of using the term "self-care", how about we use the term "community care".  Since we are all part of some sort of community, can we begin to see that finding water for our souls is actually a way of taking care of those around us?  When I find sources of refreshment (even little ones, like sitting on my front steps for a few minutes of quiet while the sun shines on my face...or when I had little ones, going grocery shopping all by myself!), it fills places in me that were wilting and I may not have even known it.  Then, when I walk back into my house (or to meet a friend for coffee, or __________) and I recognize that not only plants wilt, but people do too, something magical happens.  Somehow, in being refreshed, I become a receptacle able to pour fresh water out on those who are dry, weary and wilting.

May we fill up for the sake of others, and may the dry places in our lives turn into watering cans that are able to pour life back out on those around us!

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